Salvation Army backs plans for minimum unit price of alcohol in Wales

published on 15 Jul 2015

[The Deputy Health Minister for Wales, Vaughan Gething AM]

The Salvation Army in Wales has welcomed discussions on a change in the law that would see the price of drinks based on their alcohol content.

The Welsh government on Wednesday 15 July launched a consultation on the draft Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill.

It follows a study last lear by the Welsh government, which found that introducing a minimum unit price of 50p would be worth £882 million to the Welsh economy in terms of reducing illness, crime and sickness absence over 20 years.

Speaking at today's consultation launch, Major David Emery, Public Affairs Officer for The Salvation Army in Wales, said: "We welcome this consultation because as a church and charity we see daily the devastating human consequences of alcohol abuse caused by the irresponsibly low price of budget alcohol. We are concerned about the social and health effects alcohol is having on families and on the fabric of society in Wales.

"All the evidence suggests minimum unit pricing is the most effective and targeted policy the Welsh Government can use right now to spearhead its action on alcohol. The success of all other policies will be undermined if cheap drink continues to flood the supermarket shelves.

"Different types of budget-brand alcohol are being routinely sold well below our suggested 50p minimum unit price. In fact some budget drinks are being sold for only 27p per unit."

The Salvation Army in Wales operates a number of initiatives to support people who have suffered because of alcohol abuse. One initiative is the Bridge Programme, based at our Ty Gobaith Lifehouse. The programme was last month praised by the Welsh Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething (pictured with staff at the Bridge Programme) for addressing the complex needs of people experiencing homelessness.

To read more about the Bridge Programme, visit here