Wales confirms plans to move ahead with minimum alcohol pricing

Wales is to go ahead with plans to introduce minimum alcohol pricing following the omission of such measures from the UK government's coalition document.

The UK government has committed to banning the sale of alcohol below cost price. It also said it would review alcohol taxation and pricing. But it has not committed to any plans on minimum alcohol pricing.

A spokeswoman said that the Welsh Assembly government health minister Edwina Hart would be writing to the UK government stating its position.

‘She will work with the new UK government on this but if it does not take action soon, she will seek the powers to act ourselves,' the spokeswoman said.

She said the Welsh Assembly government's view on the issue has been clear.

‘While we are doing all we can on improving education and awareness of the dangers of binge drinking and alcohol misuse and to provide support and treatment where required, the main levers to make the most significant change remain with the UK government through the power to legislate on price, licensing and advertising,' she said.

Ms Hart said last month that Wales would be happy to act alone in introducing minimum pricing if other UK countries did not make progress on the issue.

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