Labour's nanny state plan for drinkers, smokers and 'unhealthy' eaters sparks revolt in party: Red Ed says we will FORCE you to get fit (so that's no Frosties, fags or 'pre-loading' booze)It perfectly illustrates that Labour are no longer interested in defending the working man/woman - preferring instead to kowtow to middle class quango lobbyists - and deserves fisking at some point, but the response from Grant Shapps is most intriguing to me at the moment.
He said: "They claim they're worried about prices - but want to put up the cost of a drink.
"Not only would that make a drink after work more expensive, it would hit pubs hard, putting many out of business."Minimum pricing, as it is currently being touted, wouldn't hit pubs at all of course. But it will do in the future, because the Sheffield University policy-based evidence behind minimum pricing plans for the same idea for pubs too [page 6].
Differential minimum pricing for on-trade and off-trade leads to more substantial reductions in consumption (30p off-trade together with an 80p on-trade minimum price -2.1% versus -0.6% for 30p only; 40p together with 100p -5.4% compared to -2.6% for 40p only). This is firstly because much of the consumption by younger and hazardous drinking groups (including those at increased risk of criminal offending due to high intake on a particular day) occurs in the on-trade. It is also because increasing prices of cheaper alcohol in the on-trade dampens down the behaviour switching effects when off-trade prices are increased.I'm absolutely certain, though, that Shapps was blissfully unaware of that. His comment was undoubtedly a result of being asked to gush forth at short notice on something about which he has no clue (that, or he uses a Tardis of a weekend).
Still, he should mothball that reply as it will be a brilliant put-down in around three to five years' time when minimum pricing for off-sales doesn't work (because it can't) and 'public health' moves onto their - already planned - next logical step.