Desperately trying to justify poking her nose in where it has no business, Theresa May came out with this whopper yesterday.
But the Home Secretary Theresa May said: 'Alcohol-fuelled harm costs taxpayers £21 billion a year. It is therefore right that the alcohol industry is taking action to help reduce this burden, without penalising those that drink responsibly.'Except it doesn't cost the taxpayer that amount at all, nor anything even close to it as Snowdon pointed out when Sarah Wollaston told this particular lie to the House in 2012.
This would be a reference to the British Cabinet Office report of 2003 which found a total social cost of around £18-20 billion.
Of these costs, £4.7 billion were intangible costs (ie. they are hypothetical - they do not need to be paid by anyone, let alone the taxpayer).
A further £5.5 billion were lost productivity costs which, again, do not represent a bill that needs to be paid.
A further £5.1 billion were private costs related to crime which, once again, do not need to be recouped through the tax system, and the author of the report stressed repeatedly that these costs were at the absolute top end of any realistic estimate.
The only costs which can be considered as "to the taxpayer" are £1.7 billion in healthcare and £2.2 billion in crime and punishment, but since the exchequer receives £9 billion a year in alcohol duty, that hardly makes a compelling case for a compensatory sin tax, does it?Indeed. And it also doesn't make much of a case for a Tory-led government to applaud choice being restricted for the entire population, on the back of selective lies and a booze epidemic that quite simply isn't happening.
As he has admirably done before, our esteemed blog knight Philip Davies stuck up for common sense over puritanical finger-wagging from his own party, but what good will this petty tinkering do anyway? As was discovered when nicotine was reduced in tobacco, smokers simply smoked more to achieve the same level in their blood. So why would drinkers not react in the same way? Drinkers will self-administer just as smokers do and will simply drink more wine to reach their preferred level of intoxication - whether that be mild, merry, wobbly, shit-faced or comatose.
What I find far more worrying from a societal perspective, is why politicians are so lethally addicted to binge-lying in order to interfere in our personal choices. Perhaps we need a pressure group to wean them off this damaging behaviour by urging them to lie responsibly with a view to quitting the filthy habit altogether.
H/T RooBeeDoo via Frank Davis