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Minimum alcohol price 'could hit drinkers on low incomes'

Minimum alcohol price 'could hit drinkers on low incomes'
From BBC - November 28, 2017

A minimum price for alcohol in Wales could hit drinkers on low incomes and lead to some young people turning to drugs, a think-tank will tell AMs.

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) will also claim it is "impossible" to predict how consumers will react.

The Welsh Assembly's health and social care committee is taking evidence on the proposed minimum 50p unit price.

It comes as updated research claims the policy will lead to 66 fewer deaths and 1,281 fewer hospital admissions a year.

Sheffield University's alcohol research group, which will also be giving evidence to AMs, was asked to update its modelling and original study.

It said on harmful drinkers:

The committee is hearing different views on the proposed law, which was unveiled in October.

Under a 50p minimum unit price (MUP) formula, a typical can of cider would be at least 1 and a bottle of wine at least 4.69.

A typical litre of vodka, for example, would have to cost more than 20.

Pricing is seen as a "missing link" in public health efforts, alongside better awareness and treatment.

Analysis by Owain Clarke, BBC Wales health correspondent

The latest study from Sheffield University, commissioned by the Welsh Government, once again suggests a minimum unit price of 50p for alcohol will have the greatest impact on hazardous and harmful drinkers.

But it is also true to say that the new law is likely to have more of a financial impact on less well-off drinkers.

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