Friday 23 March 2012

Welcome To East Germany

VGIF has soundly covered today's idiocy from Cameron, and there's not much to be said on minimum pricing which I haven't said before.

However, certain sections of this article would tend to suggest that the Tories have not only abandoned their ideological roots, but have also completely lost touch with economic sense.
The government says a 40p unit price will not add to the price of beer in a pub and might even help the pub trade by eradicating the cheap supermarket alternative.
Don't laugh, but here's the very next sentence.
In other examples of the impact, a deal offering 20 cans of Carling lager at Sainsbury's would jump to £14.50, due to its lower alcohol content.
So, making Carling 72p per can is eradicating competition for pubs charging in the region of £3 per pint?

Ministers claim the policy will not lead to higher supermarket profits since they will be expected to put any extra profits they make towards lowering the price of other goods.
Yes, of course they will Dave. Now, take your medication as you have to deliver the tractor stats soon.

UPDATE: Our esteemed mascot yesterday delivered a delightful put-down which says it all about Cameron's administration.
May I propose a change for the Government when they are considering their legislative programme for the next Session? Will they bear it in mind, just for a change, that they are in coalition with the Conservative party?
That's if anyone can find it.


Jay said...

From the Grundian's article: 

Cameron will say: "This isn't about stopping responsible drinking,
adding burdens on business or some new stealth tax – it's about fast
immediate action where universal change is needed.

"Of course, I
know this won't be universally popular. But the responsibility of being
in government isn't always about doing the popular thing. It's about
doing the right thing."

What a dick. Hey, Dave. Fuck you!   We don't need you to decide what the right thing is, Dave.  What happened to doing elected officials doing what the public wants?  If you go against our wishes, we go against you.  You're now a socialist, Cameron.  Expect us.

…Zaph said...

Utter, utter cunts.

A totally harebrained idea, and of course, there's the small matter of it being illegal under EU law…

Lyn Ladds said...

Of course, there is the small point, made elsewhere, that putting a minimum unit price on alcohol will make the cheaper drink, mostly of the poorer people, more expensive and the high priced stuff, mainly of the wealthy, cheaper!

Way to go Cameron - keep your toffs happy while selling the common man/woman down the Swanea!

ivandenisovich said...

Actually Lynn it will make all drink more expensive. In
markets where price is perceived as an important quality indicator, if the price
at the low end is forced up, prices throughout the market tend to rise at least


This is not accounted for in the Sheffield model that
the government and The Alcohol Health Alliance prattle on about. That is mainly
because the model was concocted by a psychologist with no market understanding
whatsoever who was paid by the DH to produce the answer that they wanted to
hear. In this way the government gets to claim that “independent” research shows
that minimum pricing will not affect the majority.


The fact that the reasoning behind the model would
disgrace a 13 year old schoolchild is apparently irrelevant in the brave new British
Democratic Republic.

DerekP said...

 Yes, in government or 'civil service' language:
'independent' = 'paid from the public purse to produce the answer that they wanted to hear'

The overpaid, self-serving top-layers of the 'civil service' are in urgent need of heavy pruning and financial cutbacks.

Call-Me-Gutless is not the one to do it.

"Words have power"

lleweton said...

One of my local supermarkets today had black shutters across its tobacco display. When an order was placed the shutters were flashed back and forth like lightning. As far as I could tell, lighters and cigarette papers were also hidden behind them. I wonder if that is some sort of restraint of trade. A stark notice on the doors of the display said 'Tobacco Products'. I wondered whether the next step would be the display of a Death's Head. I think our town has changed. Not quite a swastika hanging down the front of the town hall but it causes a shiver in me. I wonder what the pilots who relaxed in the town's ancient pubs 70 years ago would make of it - or of the RAF roundels sometimes used as beer mats in the smoke ban bars.

JonathanBagley said...

Ivan makes a vgp. If a £3.40 bottle costs £4, what will a £4.30 bottle cost? I've not heard one commentator address this. 

Dick_Puddlecote said...

It is a good point, yes. I started rough drafting a piece today which mentions exactly that. ;)

Beware of Geeks said...

Well, one thing is for certain: home-brew shares are going to be popular.

I love this kind of bullshit: it's like a government Whack-A-Mole: all that happens is that the market shifts to new premises and products, from the SmokeyDrinky, to home-brew, to obtaining products from abroad, to the e-cig...
A wonderful theatre of human economic ingenuity and opportunity versus the governments ineptitude.

non culpa said...

So the lower end need a couple quid more to get plastered before
hitting the town...Sorted ,no problem,the wife and kids get a cut
on the chips and beans.
Just a thought ,my elderly cat,Harold, has just suggested a way of getting
drinkers back into the civilised ,controlled pub culture.
Need I elaborate
Anyway,Democracy is dead,if we need to apportion blame for todays
divide between people and Westminster check out the clown next to you
Thanks to an Icelandic Volcano ,I did,nt vote at the last polling farce


Curjmudgeon said...

It doesn't necessarily follow that the supermarkets will make more profits, because the cheap bottom-end brands will simply disappear. Tesco won't be selling value lager for 35p a can.

nisakiman said...

I look at what's happening in UK with increasing horror and disbelief.

Although we're not immune from tax robbery here (tobacco and booze have both literally doubled in price over the last nine years), it still remains within reason...just.

My preferred smoke, GV (which for some unknown reason they stopped selling in 50g packs, and replaced with 40g packs a couple of years ago), costs €6.40, which equates to about seven quid for 50g. My preferred tipple, red wine, I buy direct from the producers, who have an outlet here. It's a 2009 Agiorgitiko (an indigenous grape variety) from Nemea, a strong dry red which weighs in at 13.5%; an excellent daily table wine which I buy in 10 litre boxes for €18 - about fifteen quid. I shudder to think what the price would go up to at 40p per unit (whatever a unit is - does anybody know?).

Fortunately, however, on the tobacco front, we have yet another (the third or fourth now) complete and utter failure to impose a smoking ban and make it stick; and since the locals just don't, ever binge drink and cause mayhem, there is no impetus for any stupid and draconian legislation to restrict or overprice booze.

I honestly can't ever see myself wanting to live in UK again.

ivandenisovich said...

am sure it will be a good read Dick. The reason we haven’t heard anything about
knock on pricing effects is that we are being sold a lie by comrade Gilmore and
his pals in government. I have read Petra Meier’s “work” and it is an embarrassment
to UK academia in general and the University of Sheffield in particular. She is
now a “Professor” along with Pell, Bauld and both Gilmores.  

Dick_Puddlecote said...

You could always write a guest post explaining why the study is so flawed ;)

Sam Duncan said...

I happened to be exposed, against my will, to the BBC's Any Questions last night. Some daft Labour bint was confidently proclaiming, unchallenged, that inflation was “caused” by rising prices, then universal support was expressed for price controls (including, inexplicably, from some bloke claiming to be a libertarian).

It's like the 1970s never happened. This country is comprehensively fucked.

Michael McFadden said...

I found this interesting:  "
Ministers claim the policy will not lead to higher supermarket profits since they will be expected to put any extra profits they make towards lowering the price of other goods."

Quite a "foot in the door" for a move toward a "healthier Britain."  Using their reasoning, they can, without actually "raising taxes" or suchlike, simply adjust the British diet toward health by setting minimum prices on all sorts of "unhealthy" foods.   This will help poor Britons make "better choices" at the market and raise "healthier children."

Who could possibly object?