Scottish Labour in last chance saloon
Scottish Labour has today come under more pressure to back minimum pricing in the Scottish Parliament, after Labour’s Shadow Public Health Minister at Westminster praised the Scottish proposal.
The Scottish Government has today announced that the minimum price is to be set at 50p per unit, which academic modelling suggests will result in 60 fewer deaths, as well as 1600 fewer hospital admissions, 3500 fewer crimes and a total value in harm reduction of £64m – all in the first year.
In response, Diane Abbott Tweeted “Minimum alcohol price in Scotland to be set at 50p a unit. UK needs to match Scottish proposal.
With all major parties in Westminster now backing minimum pricing – and with the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Greens all supporting the Minimum Pricing Bill in the Scottish Parliament – Scottish Labour are now alone on the wrong side of the argument.
SNP MSP Bob Doris, Deputy Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee, said: “Diane Abbott is no doubt embarrassed and bewildered by the behaviour of her Scottish colleagues, who continue to put party politics ahead of public health.
“She is absolutely right, the UK needs to match the Scottish proposal - but Scottish Labour needs to match UK Labour in supporting this progressive measure.
“Just as we did with the smoking ban, the Scottish Parliament has the chance to come together and be a world leader in tackling a major public health issue – but Scottish Labour are now completely isolated.
“With the final vote approaching, they really are in last chance saloon.
“But there is still time for them to avoid going down in history as the only party not to support this ground-breaking measure, which will save hundreds of lives over the next few years, as well as ease the pressure on our hospitals, cut down on the needless alcohol-related crimes that blight our town centres at night, and improve the economy."
Diane Abbott’s Twitter comments can be found here: https://twitter.com/#!/HackneyAbbott