Anorak News | Fight The Floods – Let Them Drink Beer

Fight The Floods – Let Them Drink Beer

by | 26th, July 2007

JOHN Harris writes of booze in the Guardian, and our enjoyment of it:

According to the Institute of Alcohol Studies, drink is now about 55% more affordable than it was a quarter-century ago. Last Christmas, booze was selling for much the same price as bottled water: 60 cans of Foster’s for £20 at Tesco, or 54 cans of Carling for £22 at Asda, and similar offers – some of which push prices well below cost – go on. Even if pubs and bars can’t match such insanity, the transformation of our towns and cities into night-time amusement parks results in endless happy hours and promotions – and anyway, plenty of people loosen up via an early evening trip to the supermarket.

Meanwhile, the health statistics are grim, and getting grimmer. Official figures put the number of “hazardous and harmful” drinkers at 7.1 million. In the last decade, alcohol-linked hospital admissions have doubled. Drink-related mortality has moved along much the same curve, and deaths have disproportionately risen among 35- to 54-year-olds. Strangely, though, during his time at the Treasury, the supposedly puritanical Brown seemed to see little cause for alarm: duty on beer was increased only in line with inflation, moves on wine were hardly punitive, and from 1998, the duty on spirits was frozen.

Why is cheap booze an “insantity”. Surel it’s just market forces – we want it so the price gets driven down. And who says what we should and should not do?  If you want to drink and spend your money on booze, you can? What else would you spend the money on – a pension (taxed), a holiday (carbon killer!), a car..?

Posted: 26th, July 2007 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink