Alex Salmond: Why Minimum Alcohol Pricing Is Vital To Britain

20 November 2017, 07:48

Alex Salmond was at his passionate best as he told his LBC listeners why he backed the Scottish plan to stop the sale of cheap alcohol.

Scotland became the first part of Britain to have minimum alcohol pricing this week, meaning the price of strong ciders is set to more than double.

That policy has not been popular, but the former First Minister insists he doesn't care about that - the country has a drink problem and the government has to fix it.

Speaking on his LBC show, he said: "Not to believe that alcoholism affects every category of society, from the richest person in the country to the poorest person in the country is to deny reality.

Minimum alcohol pricing has been introduced in Scotland
Minimum alcohol pricing has been introduced in Scotland. Picture: LBC / PA

"This is not a class-based policy and if you believe that the freedom of working people to enjoy their lives depends on consumption of alcohol to send them to an early grave, then I don't know if you and I have the same ideas of freedom.

"When I say freedom, I want people to have an income and a living standard that helps to provide for them their families. That's why I believe in living wages not minimum wages, that's why I introduced them long before people like George Osborne ever thought of the concept. That's what I believe in.

"That's why I oppose what's been done to people on the benefits at the present moment, I think it's a disgrace and an outrage. I think it's an outrage what's been done to people with disabilities.

"But I don't campaign for these things because I think it's a grand idea that people get tanked up before they out out on a night out and cause mayhem in the streets and villages and communities of our country.

"And politicians who are not prepared to face that, despite how it's popular or not popular, don't deserve to be anywhere, no matter what wage they're on."

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