CONSUMPTION of some alcoholic drinks most associated with harmful drinking in Wales will be driven down by the introduction of a minimum unit price (MUP), a charity claims.

With AMs set to debate the Welsh Government’s proposal for an MUP for alcohol today, Alcohol Concern Cymru has published price research it believes back up its claim.

Its price survey, carried out this month, reveals that some alcohol can currently be purchased in Wales for just under 21p per unit. meaning that 14 units - the maximum amount the UK’s chief medical officers recommend as a maximum - is available for £2.87.

The cheapest, strongest alcohol on sale, mostly super-strength ciders and lagers, will increase in price as a result of an MUP.

Alcohol Concern Cymru states that its introduction will have the following effect on four example products, which director, Andrew Misell says are "very strong beer and cider brands" which are "sold extremely cheaply, relative to their alcoholic strength", which is "why the yattract people who drink very heavily":

• Karpackie 9% Lager - currently on sale in Wales for £1.69 a can, set to rise to £2.25 under an MUP;

• Crofters Apple Cider - currently £2.05 for two litres, set to go up to £5;

• White Storm Cider - now on sale for £2.99 for two litres, set to cost £7.50 under an MUP;

• Frosty Jack’s Cider - available for £5.19 for three litres, set to more than double in price to £11.25.

“We know price is a major driver of how much people drink, and the minimum price measure that’s being debated in the Senedd today is intended to drive down consumption by making the cheapest drinks less affordable," said Mr Misell.

"Alongside decent services to help dependent drinkers get their lives back together, an MUP will be a major step towards reducing harmful drinking.”

Alcohol Concern research in 2011 found that most drinkers of super-strength cider were either alcohol-dependent or underage, a finding backed up by research in Scotland in 2016.