THE MP for Blaenau Gwent has called for drink to be charged at a minimum price of 50p per unit.

Nick Smith said setting a minimum price for alcohol at the same level adopted by the Scottish Government would discourage “drinkers of the high octance gut rot alcohol which wrecks so many lives”.

The UK government is looking at a minimum price of 40p.

He cited claims from the former chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson that it could save 3,300 lives a year.

“So I think we should aim high and act now to save as many lives as possible and reduce the collateral damage to the families of those who misuse alcohol,” he said.

Mr Smith was speaking ahead of a Panorama programme shown on Monday about older people and alcohol misuse.

He added: “Let’s hope the Prime Minister and newHealth Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, will now deliver a minimum price per unit of alcohol. Should it be 50p per unit? I’m happy to start here and see if it’s effective.”

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