The report suggests drinkers would only spend an extra GBP10 a year on alcohol

The report suggests drinkers would only spend an extra GBP10 a year on alcohol

The Welsh government has said it is still planning to introduce a minimum price on alcohol after a new report claimed it would save the country money and cut alcohol-related deaths. 

The University of Sheffield study found a floor price of GBP0.50 (US$0.80) would be worth GBP882m to the country's economy over 20 years, through a fall in illness, crime and sickness absence. The report suggested the measure would mean a 4% drop in weekly alcohol consumption among the population, while the average drinker would spend an extra GBP10 per year on alcohol. 

Mark Drakeford, Wales' health and social services minister, said: “It (MUP) would mean fewer alcohol-related deaths and ease the burden of alcohol-related harm on the Welsh NHS.” 

He added: “We will consider these findings and continue to develop our proposals with a view to introducing legislation.” 

In April, the Welsh goverment produced a White Paper, which included a proposal for a floor price. 

Last week, Northern Ireland's administration said it was planning to introduce a minimum unit price, also based on evidence from the University of Sheffield.

Many in the drinks industry are strongly opposed to a floor price and claim it would unfairly target the responsible majority and do little to tackle problem drinkers. 

The Scottish government is currently locked in a legal battle with the drinks industry over its bid to introduce a floor price on alcohol.

The UK coalition government in Westminster last year shelved its plans for mimimum pricing, citing a lack of evidence that the policy would work. Instead, it introduced a ban on the sale of alcohol below the cost of duty plus VAT in May this year