7 Jan 2014

Alcoholics paid with beer to clean streets

6:22 pm on 7 January 2014

The Dutch government is helping to pay alcoholics with beer to clean the streets of Amsterdam.

The Rainbow Group, a government-funded company that helps people struggling to cope with homelessness, drug abuse or alcoholism, has 20 alcoholics picking up litter in return for beer, cigarettes and a free lunch.

The chronic alcoholics are offered five cans of free beer for five hours of work. It is less than the minimum wage in the Netherlands, but offers an opportunity that they couldn't find elsewhere, the BBC reports.

However, in a city where prostitution is legal and cannabis decriminalised, some conservatives feel that free beer for alcoholics is taking the liberal approach too far.

The Rainbow Group says other countries should abandon old-fashioned political correctness and follow the Netherlands' example.