Chapels urge Welsh to follow Scottish example on alcohol

By staff writers
March 3, 2009

Churches have urged the Welsh Assembly to follow Scotland’s example, and introduce a minimum price per unit of alcohol.

The Scottish government announced plans on Monday to clamp down on low price alcohol sales in a bid to tackle Scotland's "shocking" drink problem.

Ministers are set to introduce a minimum price per unit of alcohol, though the level has yet to be determined.

Edinburgh said cut-price deals encouraging bulk buying, such as "three for the price of two" offers, would be banned, with the display and marketing of alcohol restricted to certain areas in stores.

The plans were launched at a Glasgow hospital to underline the £2.25 billion cost of alcohol misuse in Scotland.

The move was welcomed by churches belonging to the Union of Welsh Independents.

This same strategy has been discussed by churches in Wales over the last few months.

They are now calling on the UK Parliament and the Welsh Assembly Government to follow suit by banning cut-price booze in Wales and England.

“Alcohol abuse is one of the most serious problems facing society today” said the Revd Beti-wyn James, Chair of the Independent Churches’ Family Department.

“Statistics show that 12 million people in the UK drink too much, and that the problem amongst young people is worse in Wales than any other part of Western Europe,” she said.

“Alcohol kills about 25,000 Britons every year ; and costs around £15 Billion to the NHS, the justice system and the economy.

“It is impossible to measure the damage and misery it causes to those who are dependent on alcohol and to their families, as well as the violence and damage caused by so many people after they’ve been drinking.”

Keywords:alcoholism | alcohol
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