Anorak News | Why are they being so stupid about minimum pricing for booze?

Why are they being so stupid about minimum pricing for booze?

by | 28th, September 2012

I’VE been saying, as have many others, for years now that this idea of minimum pricing for booze just won’t work. For it’s illegal under EU law:

David Cameron’s plans to introduce minimum prices for alcohol to tackle Britain’s binge drinking culture have been left in tatters by a legal threat from Brussels.

The European Commission has challenged Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond’s law which imposes a price hike on booze – a plan which Mr Cameron hoped to follow in England and Wales.

Officials in Brussels told Scottish ministers they had to withdraw legislation to impose a 50p-per-unit price on alcohol because it was ‘not compatible’ with the EU Treaty.

This just isn’t a surprise at all, anyone at all who has looked at the idea has come up with exactly the same answer. You’re not allowed to do this. There’s even case law on it, concerning Greece and tobacco pricing.

But the stupidity is much, much, worse than merely campaigning for years to bring in an illegal law. The very idea itself is moronic.

Let’s even assume that there is actually a problem. Booze is too cheap, peeps are drinking too much of it and that higher prices are the cure. I don’t agree but let’s just say that all of that is true.

So, we’ve two ways of doing this. We can raise the tax on booze. This extra money collected can then go off to pay for nurses, pay down the national debt, purchase those all important duck houses for Tory MPs. You know, the exigencies of government.

Or we can insist upon a minimum price for booze. The extra money doesn’t go to the government: no, it goes to some combination of the supermarkets or the booze manufacturers. Fatter cigars for fatcats in effect.

Which stumbling, drivelling, cretin would choose answer two over answer one?

Yes, you’re right, the people who currently rule us. The reason we shouldn’t rise up and slaughter them all is?

Posted: 28th, September 2012 | In: Money, The Consumer Comment | TrackBack | Permalink