RTS Blog | Wales introduce minimum alcohol pricing

Home - RTS Blog | Wales introduce minimum alcohol pricing

12 March 2020

Wales introduce minimum alcohol pricing


RTS Blog | Wales introduce minimum alcohol pricing

From 2nd March, there was a change in the way alcohol is sold in Wales, with the introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP).

Retailers and any outlets serving alcohol must charge at least 50p a unit, meaning a typical bottle of wine costs no less than £4.69. Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething said it would tackle “harmful and damaging” drinking of cheap, strong alcohol.

A recent report found that alcohol sales in Scotland had dropped after a similar system was implemented in May 2018. The Public Health Minimum Price for Alcohol Wales Act 2018 forces retailers to use a formula for working out minimum pricing.

What is a unit of alcohol?

  • A unit is 10ml of pure alcohol
  • This is equivalent to about half a pint of lower or standard-strength beer or cider
  • A single 25ml shot of sprits is about one unit
  • A small 125ml glass of wine contains about 1.5 units

Source: NHS Direct Wales

What is minimum unit pricing?

Minimum unit pricing (MUP) is a method in setting a baseline price below which no one can sell an alcoholic drink. The price is based on how much alcohol is in each drink. The minimum price that’s being set in Wales is 50p per unit of alcohol. Whether the drink is beer, cider, wine, spirits or any other kind of alcoholic drink; its minimum price will depend on how much alcohol it contains. For example:

  • A standard-strength pint of beer or cider contains around 2.5 units of alcohol, so it can’t be sold in Wales for less than £1.25 (2.5 x 50p)
  • A bottle of wine has about 10 units of alcohol in it, so the minimum price for it is around £5 (10 x 50p)
  • A bottle of whisky or vodka contains around 26 units, and so cannot be sold for less than £13 (26 x 50p)

Why has it been introduced?

Official figures show about 500 people die in Wales each year from alcohol-related causes, with 60,000 hospital admissions related to alcohol consumption, adding up to an estimated £159m cost to the Welsh NHS r.

Dr Sarah Aitken, director of public health for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said the organisation had been supportive of the law change since it was first mooted.

“We see the effects of excessive alcohol consumption on people’s health every day,” she said.

 About Randox Testing Services

Randox Testing Services are a specialist in the workplace drug & alcohol testing industry. We provide testing solutions for companies who want to reduce the impact of substance misuse in their workplace. With a range of service options and expert staff on hand to provide help and training to staff, our services will help to eradicate the impacts of drugs and alcohol.

To find out more about our range of products and how our service packages can help your company, contact us today.

Email – testingservices@randox.com

Phone – +44 (0) 28 9445 1011


Want to know more?

Contact us or visit our website to read more.