Pub landlords back minimum alcohol price, says Alcohol Concern Cymru study

Image caption,
The study found most landlords blamed cheap shop-bought alcohol for their decline drink sales

Publicans in Wales back the introduction of a minimum price per unit of alcohol, a new study claims.

Alcohol Concern Cymru said its research found 77% of those questioned in support, and most blamed cheap supermarket drink for a fall in trade.

The UK government is proposing introducing a minimum price of 40p per unit for Wales and England, while in Scotland 45p per unit is being debated.

Many publicans in Wales would back a price of 50p a unit, the survey found.

About 600 landlords took part in the survey, with almost half of them, 48%, saying their sales had dropped in the last year and and 61% saying they expected that to continue over the next 12 months.

Of those surveyed, 94% said they thought cheap alcohol sold in supermarkets played a part in the decline of sales, with a majority, 56%, citing this as the main reason.

A total of 91% said they thought supermarket promotions of cheap alcohol were "hypocritical" when pub landlords felt tightly controlled.

Alcohol Concern's Mark Leyshon said: "Landlords are telling us that it's unfair that they are blamed for so many of the alcohol-related problems in society, whilst supermarkets are allowed to continue to sell heavily discounted alcohol.

"There are many well-run pubs in Wales that provide a safe and sociable place to consume alcohol, but who feel they are being driven out of business by irresponsible pricing of alcoholic drinks in the off-trade.

"It's clear that a minimum price of 50p per alcohol unit would be of enormous help to the pub trade, but it would also have a positive impact in addressing binge-drinking and reducing alcohol-related harm."

Last month the Welsh government said it welcomed any move towards making minimum pricing on alcohol a reality.

It said: "We have also requested power to legislate on alcohol licensing on a number of occasions and these requests have been repeatedly rejected by the UK government."

It is said that a minimum price of 50p per unit would mean a 750ml bottle of wine of 12% alcohol by volume (ABV) would cost a minimum of £4.50

A can of beer at 5% ABV would be at least £1.25, while a bottle of vodka at 40% ABV would have to be priced at a minimum £14.

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