A Supreme Court ruling clearing the way for the introduction of minimum alcohol pricing in Wales has been welcomed by CAIS chief executive Clive Wolfendale.
Mr Wolfendale, a long-time supporter of the measure, said the rejection of an appeal against laws already passed by the Scottish Government removed an obstacle for similar plans at the Senedd — and would therefore help to save lives closer to home.
He said it was particularly gratifying to welcome the measure during Alcohol Awareness Week.
“This welcome decision by the Supreme Court removes the major obstacle to the introduction of minimum unit pricing for alcohol in Wales,” Mr Wolfendale said. “As such, it will help to save many hundreds of lives in the years to come."
He said: “Importantly, the judgement finds that the aim of Scottish Government’s legislation is not to make the cost of drinking prohibitive or to eradicate it entirely, but rather to strike at alcohol abuse, overconsumption, and the health and social problems suffered by deprived communities.
“It also finds that minimum unit pricing will tackle these issues in a way that additional taxes would not – by setting a floor price which will stop the sale of cheap booze, and prevent irresponsible practices by retailers.
“With proposed legislation in Wales following the same aims, we can be confident that we will soon be able to start work to realise the same benefits here.
“This measure cannot be regarded as a silver bullet – as a nation, we will need to combine minimum unit pricing measures with improved access to treatment, better education, and enhanced prospects for our communities.
“But this must be seen as a hugely significant day for people at risk of alcohol-related harm in Wales, their families, and the people who care for them.”