Plans for a minimum price on alcohol are expected to be ditched in the face of a Cabinet revolt.
David Cameron has insisted on pressing ahead with proposals to outlaw selling alcohol at less than 45p a unit in England and Wales.
But sources say the idea appears ‘dead in the water’, thanks to opposition from ministers. Economists predict the plans could push the average family drinks bill up by almost £100 a year.
One minister said such a rise would be ‘inconceivable’ when cost of living is expected to be an issue at the next election. The minister added: ‘It would be political suicide and it will have to be abandoned.’James Forsyth at The Speccie expands on this.
This is welcome news. The policy always promised to simply drive up the price of drink, penalising all drinkers, while doing little about public drunkenness or binge drinking.
The Mail says that the plan has fallen out of favour because of the government’s new emphasis on the cost of living. It is dawning on everyone that that hugely increasing the price of people’s pleasures at a time of falling real incomes is not a sensible political move.Well, duh!
But the real story is a lot more than a crashingly stupid policy being ditched. What should be newsworthy is why it was even considered in the first place.
Let's boil it down to basics here, what is the point of government if not to act in the interests of the public? Nanny statists regularly talk of the 'duty' of government to 'help' people to make the 'correct' decisions. Personally, I reject that entirely but - even if taken in by it - government has a far greater duty (a real one, not one invented by vested interests) to make life less burdensome for their employers ... that is, us. This is a fundamental reason why we - and generations before us - decided that elected governments were a good thing.
Increasing the cost of living is the polar opposite of what we have historically paid them to do. Their job is to arrange the country so that the way we choose to live is made easier, not more difficult.
Tens of millions of voters consider alcohol to be an enjoyable part of their lives, so any politician who imagines it is their job to 'denormalise' it and raise the cost of living on the say-so of a handful of insane, weapons grade liars should - in a proper world - be sacked on the spot.
Minimum alcohol pricing is an almost universally despised policy, with objections being raised by the left and right of political thinking. The fact that it has reached as far as it has done just goes to show how siren voices have seduced the current political class into a position whereby they are now appalling and unfit for purpose.
'Dead in the water' is a very welcome development, but the idea should never have been allowed past the mental gestation stage before being quietly aborted.