MP calls for more education on alcohol

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Mp greg mulholland, Alcoholic beverage, Great british beer festival, Leeds north west

MP Greg Mulholland has called for young people to be educated about alcohol to understand its positive aspects. Speaking at the official opening of...

MP Greg Mulholland has called for young people to be educated about alcohol to understand its positive aspects.

Speaking at the official opening of the Great British Beer Festival yesterday, the Lib Dem MP for Leeds North West said: "When are we going to get a grip and start educating young people that it's not simply a drug?"

He said schoolchildren should be told about the differences between hand-crafted products, like beer, and "alcopops".

Mulholland's comments echo those made by Tory leader David Cameron recently about children being taught to respect alcohol at home.

Beer is part of "how we define ourselves as being British", Mulholland added.

The pub trade supporting MP also made a thinly veiled attack on the off-trade and its pricing policies. "Sadly we have a culture that encourages people to stay at home and drink mass-produced rubbish," Mulholland said.

"Why do we not hear more from our political leaders? "When are they going to start recognising brewers are part of the solution, not part of the problem that we see in our town and city centres."

The MP said the industry must get the message across to political leaders that "community pubs are essential". "Fifty-seven community pubs are closing a month, that must be stopped," he said.

Mulholland also launched a fresh attack on Alistair Darling, branding his Budget duty rises on alcohol as "not only short-sighted, but incredibly stupid", as Treasury revenues from beer are falling.

On the idea that the four-year duty escalator could be reversed, he added: "We have seen U-turns in other areas, so it's possible."

Related topics: Legislation

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