Via the PMA:
A new report, picked up by the Publican’s Morning Advertiser (PMA) on 9 March, claimed that alcohol taxes are too low because the revenue collected by Government from alcohol sales is far lower than the cost of alcohol to society.
The report hinges on the claim that the Government collects £9bn in taxes in alcohol, whereas alcohol costs society £21bn a year. If these stats were true, there would be a strong case to answer. But the comparison between £9bn revenue and £21bn cost is completely erroneous.
How about with that £21bn? As I’ve written previously, this number seemed plucked from the air. The vast bulk of it consists of ‘intangible’ (and therefore incalculable) costs such as the impact on the economy of the emotional trauma of the victims of alcohol-related crime (£4.7bn of the total.)
The £21bn figure, even if it was correct, is the total cost of alcohol to society, not just the cost to the taxpayer of health and emergency services dealing with alcohol-related harm.
And yet in the plus column, this report and others before it only consider duty receipts from alcohol direct to the government. There isn’t an honest accountant on the planet who would accept this as an acceptable balance of cost versus benefit.
If the IAS were to compare like with like, they would have two options: firstly, to compare the cost to the UK taxpayer of alcohol abuse with the revenue to the UK treasury from alcohol sales. That would be a fair comparison. And it would reveal — as has previously been reported — that revenue would exceed cost to the tune of more than £6bn a year.
If they want to include every single cost of alcohol to society — including everything from lost productivity due to hangovers to expenditure on alarms to prevent alcohol-fuelled crime — they need to also include the broadest possible range of benefits from alcohol consumption.
And that would include the contribution pubs make to their local economy, and corporation tax paid by brewers, to the intangible benefit of the stronger social networks, increased community cohesion and stress reduction that moderate consumption gives the majority of drinkers.
Anti-alcohol campaigners are aware of all this, and yet they continue to quote their figure of £21bn versus £9bn figures as fact.Very well put.
The problem, of course, is that 'public health' is an inherently dishonest profession. By that I mean that they are not at all interested in truth, scientific integrity or even what is beneficial for the public, and don't even care that much what is good for public health. They only care about their own lucrative tax-sponging nest and how best to feather it for the future.
Brown puts this very well in his denouement.
If you continue to insist something is true when you know it’s not, that makes you a ‘liar’. It’s time the drinks industry went on the offensive against these people and named them for what they are.Indeed. And the possibility that the drinks industry might very well do that is why the anti-alcohol version of 'public health' is seeking to do exactly what their anti-smoking counterparts have done - silence all speech by anyone who might meaningfully debate them.
Let's just compare something here. Say your employer lied about you to have you sacked, it would be illegal for them not to allow you your chance to debate them. 'Public health' has no such concerns, they can close businesses down on a whim and put thousands - or even millions - on the dole simply to boost their own bank accounts, and without fear of censure or financial penalty.
The 'public health' industry is the most vile, corrosive and damaging drain on the well-being of the public that there has ever been. There is not a single person working in 'public health' today who hasn't, at some point, lied to the public and to politicians. They all, without exception, deserve to be in jail.
But where do the anti-alcohol liars get their methods from? Well, from the anti-smoking liars, of course.
In 2010, a pal of Action on Smoking and Health - Henry Featherstone of the Policy Exchange think tank - peddled an economically bankrupt study in order to 'prove' that smoking costs more to the public's finances than it generates. Their report was destroyed by other economic think tanks and panned into ridicule by the printed media (apart from the Guardian, natch) because it was demonstrable nonsense from start to finish, and the author knew it as much as his pharma funders and his cheerleaders in the tobacco control industry did.
But tobacco controllers - the most corrupt liars of the lot - still quote it to this day and so do their vacuous poodles in parliament. It doesn't matter if it's bollocks, because they know very well it's bollocks but spout it anyway.
No-one from the anti-alcohol bandwagon will sue Pete Brown for calling them liars because - as he points out - they know very well that they are. They know that if they dared to take it to a court case, the court would judge them to be lying scum and scales might fall off millions of eyes.
So they'll just carry on using the £21bn figure even when they know they are lying, just as anti-smoking liars continue to use their own laughable lies when they are well aware that the figures they are quoting are pure fantasy.
If you're not keen on the lies being told about alcohol, fizzy drinks, e-cigs, fast food, chocolate or any other popular product, always remember it started with the liars in the tobacco control industry being allowed to get away with it. They're just copying the tobacco control playbook and destroying people's lives every day that they are permitted by our weak and pathetic politicians to do so.