A NORTH-EAST alcohol harm awareness organisation has welcomed the Welsh Government’s move to introduce a bill for a minimum unit price this week.

Sue Taylor, partnership manager at Balance, said the Welsh Government should be applauded and urged politicians in Westminster to follow suit, adding: “Cheap alcohol causes some of the worst problems in our communities and places a huge burden on our emergency services at a time when they are coping with significant budget pressures.

“In the North-East, we suffer with some of the highest rates of alcohol-related hospital admissions and around 230,000 alcohol-related crimes every year, yet alcohol continues to be sold at pocket money prices. Minimum unit price is an evidence based measure targeted at the cheapest, most harmful alcohol consumed by the heaviest drinkers.

“We know that its introduction would barely affect moderate drinkers and leave pub prices untouched, but it would save lives, reduce hospital admissions, cut crime and lesson some of the pressure on our overworked emergency services. “