Minimum prices for alcoholic drinks would be set by the Government under radical plans being drawn up to cut Britain’s growing binge-drinking problem.
The scheme could see the starting cost of drinks fixed at between 40p and 50p per alcoholic unit – leading to a six-pack of lager costing about £6 and a bottle of wine costing £4.50. Cheap bottles of cider could quadruple in price.
The crackdown will mark the culmination of a scheme, overseen by Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary, to cut alcohol abuse. Tackling the problem will be a major plank of the party’s manifesto.
The scheme could prevent thousands of deaths and hospital admissions every year, it is claimed. It would be one of the first such schemes in the world.
However, it would represent a marked change in policy for the Gordon Brown and the Government who have previously been opposed to setting alcohol prices. Labour has traditionally favoured liberalising alcohol laws – such as allowing 24-hour drinking.
Um... I hate to butt in here—especially to defend the Labour government—but they did not allow or even support "24-hour drinking": they relaxed the licensing laws that allowed pubs and clubs to be open for 24 hours if they so wished. That does not mean that the government supports individuals drinking for 24 hours (although, if that's what they want to do, who cares?—as long as they harm* no one but themselves).
Naturally, the eeeeevil booze companies cannot be allowed to profit off the back of the Labour government's meddling.
A levy could also be imposed on the drinks industry to stop them making windfall profits from the higher prices introduced under the scheme. The money raised would be earmarked for public health campaigns warning of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption.
Oh, for fuck's sake...
As has been pointed out innumerable times, what the government is proposing is illegal under EU law—the Greeks tried it with cigarettes and got slapped like bitches.
But the idea that the money raised would somehow go towards "public health campaigns" is just as much a lie as the claim that your NICs payments actually go into an insurance fund.
But even if this money were "earmarked" in this way, that would also be barking insanity—as Timmy clearly explains.
And the other thing is that hypothecation of taxes is a very bad idea indeed. We may or may not want to spend £100 million on public health campaigns about booze. We may or may not wish to raise the tax on booze. But there’s absolutely no connection whatsoever between the amount we can raise by taxing booze and the amount we want to spend on public health campaigns.
Essentially what this amounts to is an untouchable revenue stream for the likes of Alcohol Concern and all the other puritans. No longer do they have to argue their case for getting money ahead of freezing pensioners or the starving in the third world. They get their money as of right.
And of course, the last thing any such bureaucracy will even try to do is solve the problem: the incentive is to keep exisiting on ever larger budgets, not actually do anything.
No, it’s not just the cretinism of raising alcohol prices (looking across Europe there are countries with lower prices and less drunkenness, places with higher and just as many problems with binge drinking), they’ve also managed to come up with the worst possible method of doing it. Illegal and creating an independent bureaucracy with no financial oversight.
Never mind, my friends, this moronic bunch of bansturbators will keep on trying—despite the fact that their entire campaign is based on a series of not even well-concealed lies. And the cunts concerned have quite merrily spelled out just what they have in store for us... [Emphasis mine.]
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph last night, Mr Burnham said that he wanted public backing for the radical scheme.
He compared the emerging alcohol policy to that involving tobacco – which led to a sharp increase in cigarette prices and a ban on smoking in public places.
Mr Burnham hopes that there will be support from the Conservatives for the move which is increasingly regarded as crucial to cut binge-drinking.
David Cameron has advocated a ban on supermarkets selling alcohol below cost-price but it is not clear whether the Tories will go further and back minimum pricing. They have previously expressed concern that it may be unduly draconian.
It is understood that ministers are working on a “staged process” to introduce minimum pricing. Initially, the drinks industry will have to increase warnings on alcohol cans and bottles. Supermarkets and other retailers will then be banned from selling alcohol at “below cost” – the wholesale price of drinks – if they refuse to do so voluntarily.
The minimum price will then be introduced as the third and final phase of the scheme. It is being introduced in this way to “bring the public along” as alcohol prices are steadily increased.
You'll note that last sentence about "alcohol prices" being "steadily increased", I hope? Regular readers may, of course, recall that my colleague, The Filthy Smoker, predicted precisely this at the beginning of the year, illustrating his point with a number of scarily accurate spoof articles.
If you don't think any of this sounds remotely plausible, I have some magic beans I'd like to sell you. The slippery slope has already begun. You might recall that the original idea was to set the minimum price at 40p. This has since increased to 50p, and the public health bastards are already campaigning for it to rise to 60p.
If these fucks are calling for a higher unit price now, when the idea is in its infancy, what do you think they'll be demanding a few years down the road?
And at 60p, the idea that minimum pricing only affects plebs and alcoholics starts to look very shaky indeed.
Once brought in, the minimum price of alcohol will go up and up as sure as night follows day. As ever with these duplicitous, prohibitionist scum-fucks, there is no point trying to appease them. They've been given every opportunity to show good faith over the years and have responded with nothing but lie after systematic lie. How much you pay for your drink is between you and the brewery. The government, the quacks and Alcohol fucking Concern can keep their filthy, thieving hands off.
Unfortunately, of course, they won't.
Once again, you have been warned.
* By "harm" I mean that they do not initiate force or fraud against someone else's life, liberty or property. It's just that harm is a wee bit shorter.