David Norris: 'I don't spend my tax dollars to buy drinks for people on social welfare'

David Norris has said people on welfare should not be allowed to buy drink.

David Norris: 'I don't spend my tax dollars to buy drinks for people on social welfare'

David Norris has said people on welfare should not be allowed to buy drink.

The Independent Senator said he welcomes the introduction of minimum pricing for alcohol announced earlier this week.

The announcement means a can of beer will cost a minimum of €1.95, a bottle of wine will cost around €8.60 and a bottle of supermarket own brand vodka could more than double in price from €13 to €28.

He said he does not want to fund a round of drinks for people on welfare with his tax money, and he said something needs to be done to tackle our binge drinking culture.

Mr Norris said: "I hear people on the wireless saying 'oh what about the poor people on social welfare, and they will be deprived of their few drinks'.

"I don't spend my tax dollars to buy drinks for people on social welfare, I don't think tax is for people to be drinking all the time.

"I see them all around my area buying slabs of drinks."

However, the remarks have been criticised by the Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed.

Its co-ordinator John Stewart says the same principle should then apply to politicians, because their wages come from taxes too.

Mr Stewart said: "Is that everybody in receipt of a welfare payment? Would that extend to people on State pensions?

"Would that extend to people in receipt of Child Benefit, because that is a welfare payment?

"Theoretically, could it extend to anybody who is in receipt of a payment from the State, because I would imagine that that would include politicians, senators and others as well?"

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