This really is cretinous stupidity.
The costs to our economy of productivity lost at work, together with the criminal justice and health bill, put the financial drain as high as £55bn. There is no such thing as a cheap drink; we are all paying a very heavy price.
Sigh. Leave aside that this is simply an invented number (only two years ago it was around £20 billion).
What is the benefit of booze? The pleasure that people get from boozing of course. How can we measure the value, in cold hard cash, of that benefit, that pleasure?
The amount that people spend on booze of course. No one who thinks that 50p in their pocket is more valuable than a pint of cheap cider will exchange the 50p for the pint of cheap cider. Thus the pint of cheap cider which people do exchange 50p for must be worth more to that person than 50p.
The value to, the pleasure gained from, the boozer of booze must be greater than the amount spent by the boozer on booze.
How much do we spend on booze? From memory it’s around £55 billion a year actually.
So, actually, even by our idiot Tory MP’s reasoning, we’re not paying any price at all: we’re getting at least as much benefit from boozing as it costs us. Excellent, fuck off then.
But it gets worse:
An alcohol strategy that would work should include the following: minimum pricing of 50p a unit,
The problem with this is that it just increases the profits of the booze industry. It’s also, as far as I know, illegal under EU rules. But even if not, we’re still just increasing profits. To which our idiot Tory MP says yes but:
To those who feel that minimum pricing would just hand greater profits to the drinks industry, there are many suggestions: varying VAT between on- and off-licensed premises to offset a rise in duty without penalising pubs or clubs, or a levy on unopened bottles of between 5p and 10p per unit.
Which is exactly the point that we’re all trying to make. Vary the taxes you idiot, if you want to change the price. Don’t just boost the industry profits, get more money for the Treasury!
Just if any politician should happen to pass by just let me explain the logic again here. Minimum prices are a bad idea because it just increases industry profits. If you want to raise the price of alcohol you should raise the taxes on alcohol, so that the Treasury gains the money, not the industry. The response “well, we’ll change taxes to deal with the problems of minimum prices” doesn’t work. Just change the taxes and forget the minimum prices.