Wales to Introduce Minimum Price for Alcohol as Welsh Government Plans Unveiled

Introducing legislation to tackle harmful alcohol consumption, providing free childcare for working parents and protecting tenants from unfair fees are some of the Welsh Government’s legislative priorities for the year ahead.

First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, unveiled his Government’s legislative programme last week (27 June) and Wrexham Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths, has backed the proposals.

She said: “In spite of being in unchartered territory at the beginning of Brexit negotiations, this wide-ranging legislative programme demonstrates how the Welsh Government will continue to protect the nation’s interest.”

“Whilst the Tories in Westminster U-turn and backtrack on their own poorly-received manifesto, Welsh Labour is delivering on its commitments and standing up for people in Wrexham and Wales.”

In the first of five Bills, the Welsh Government will introduce legislation that will make it illegal for alcohol to be sold below a set price.

Evidence shows a direct link between drinking harmful levels and the availability of cheap alcohol. The Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) Bill will propose a formula for calculating the minimum price for alcohol, based on its strength and volume, and enable local authorities to enforce the powers and bring prosecutions.

The Government is also introducing a Bill to stop landlords and estate agents from charging unfair, up-front fees to tenants and prospective tenants in the private rented sector.

Increasing evidence shows the current fees – which can be as high as £700 – are a barrier to people looking to rent their own place and discourage people from moving home. The Bill will provide private renters with clarity about the costs involved and ensure the system is fair and sustainable.

Over the next 12 months, the Government will also introduce a Bill that will pave the way for one of its key pledges; 30 hours of free childcare a week for working parents of three and four year olds.  Good progress is being made on the childcare offer, with the first pilot set to begin in September. The Bill will support this and enable the childcare offer to be rolled out in full by 2020 by creating a national system for applications and eligibility checks.