Dave has come out in full support for minimum pricing on booze. He told the Manchester Evening News yesterday, and reaffirmed this morning, that he is “very supportive” of the campaign to have a 50p per unit minimum that Guido mentioned yesterday. No surprise that the taxpayer-funded lobbying firm Our Life have been quick to welcome the measure. Their chief exec Alison Giles was positively gushing with praise. What she didn’t mention though was Our Life’s previously lobbying of the Tories, while the taxpayer picks up the tab.
The NHS trusts that have channeled Our Life £509,000 to lobby the government (and the government to be,) have bought policy. Half a million quid of public money to get the PM to back your campaign – a necessary move in their eyes, in order to by-pass the Health Secretary who has comprehensively rejected minimum pricing. Regional NHS authorities are subverting the normal policy making process at a massive cost to the taxpayer. If they are doing it on alcohol what else are they doing it on? How many other taxpayer funding lobbying companies have the public sector set up?