Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Truth Will Set You Free!

In case you were wondering how your taxes were being spent lately, you might be thrilled to know that you're currently financing a trip to Brussels for people who want to make your beer cost more.
Speaking at a conference, organised by the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) on Friday (5 September) Peter Rice, chair of the Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP), argued for the MUP [minimum alcohol pricing] policy, which sets a 'floor price' below which alcohol cannot be sold, based on the amount of alcohol contained in the product. MUP will particularly benefit harmful drinkers on low incomes in terms of improved health and well-being, he said.
For "benefit", read "impose a form of price prohibition on".
"Tackling price is the most effective and cost-effective way of tackling the issue. It will affect the whole population" ... the chair of SHAAP added.
Hold on, say that again?
"It will affect the whole population"
But, but, this is not what we have been told before. It was supposedly brilliantly targeted to just those who abuse alcohol (only if they're poor, that is), not the rest of us!

No, seriously, this was a prime selling point.
90% of population 'would be unaffected' by minimum alcohol price
Lead author Professor Nick Sheron said: ‘Setting a minimum unit price for alcohol is an almost perfect alcohol policy because it targets cheap booze bought by very heavy drinkers and leaves moderate drinkers completely unaffected.’
So what is the truth? Will no-one be affected or everyone be affected. That's quite a large margin of error, isn't it? It's almost as if - I dunno - they're making it up as they go along.

More to the point, though, what the hell are they doing wasting our taxes over there when there is no 'urgent' problem to solve? The BBPA recently reported that alcohol consumption has declined for the tenth consecutive year - an 18% reduction since 2004 - and alcohol-related crime is down 47% since 1995.

So even if we must all be punished for the sins of the few - which minimum alcohol pricing certainly will do, especially for the less well off - the sins are decreasing at the same time that bansturbators want our punishment to increase.

If the ECJ doesn't tell them to go boil their heads, even the left should start thinking seriously about why we bother with Europe.


Mark Wadsworth said...

WTF is wrong with this country, pretty soon we will lose our place near the top of the European "Highest alcohol consumption per capita" League.

Norbert Zillatron said...

On pricing there is one sensible regulation here in Germany:

Each bar or restaurant must offer at least one nonalcoholic beverage that costs less than the cheapest alcoholic drink (for the same volume).

JonathanBagley said...

Moderate drinkers certainly will be affected. I buy Valdepenas from Lidl, which I find perfectly acceptable at £3.69 a bottle, which works out at 35p a unit. This wine occupies the most shelf space of any one brand and so is popular in the fairly low income town in which I live. Increasing the unit price by 15p will cost the 21 units a week drinker an extra £163 a year: a not insubstantial sum. I'm annoyed that these 12p a year claims are always accepted by the main- stream press. It only takes a couple of minutes of arithmetic.

truckerlyn said...

It's SO obvious it will only really affect the lower income people - even those of us who like an occasional drink. I enjoy a Pimms now and again, but can only have one when, like this summer, Morrisons had it on offer at a litre for £10. I still have a quarter of that left and have enjoyed what I have consumed, one, maybe 2 a weekend, if that. However, if it had been at the full price I could not have bought it! I also enjoy a glass of wine with Sunday lunch, but as that is all I do drink it is pointless buying by the bottle, so I buy the small bottles which are about a glass size. If the price of these go up any more I won't be able to afford that little pleasure either!

I do not frequent pubs, not that I did much before the ban, not being much of a drinker, so the little I do drink at home (forgot to mention the Baileys around Christmas time) could be priced out of my pocket. Yet something else I will be banned from because a load of muppets are striving to keep their precious, vastly over-inflated salaries! Wonder what will be next? Never know, they might want to tax sex next - they are definitely crazy and greedy enough!!!

nisakiman said...

Ye Gods, assuming your calculations are based on 10 units per bottle (I haven't a clue, I don't take any notice of that stuff), if they applied a 50P MUP here, my 10 litre boxes of Merlot (12.8% ABV), which I pay €20 (about £16) for would go up to around the £135 mark! It doesn't even bear thinking about...

Thank heavens the Greeks take no notice of the shrill shills in the prohibitionist camps. I'm sure if they tried to impose MUP here they would be faced with a popular uprising!

Edgar said...

The State telling you what to sell in your own business is 'sensible'?

Norbert Zillatron said...

Well, in my youth we had an absurd situation:

Most bars, discos, etc. have a contract with a brewery. So they used to offer other products at higher prices to encourge the sales. Sensible from a purely economic point of view.

The effect was, that even simple water was more expensive than beer. And what would a lot people with a small budget (like teenagers) chose to drink when they just went there to e.g. dance? The cheapest.

So in my opinion it is a quite reasonable, not too intrusive regulation. No mandatory minimum price for alcohol. If sell beer at 5€ it would be totally sufficient to sell the cheapest water for 4€.