Absence of tax is not a subsidy

Madeleine Moon MP said ending the “high level of subsidy” enjoyed at military bars would help to curb drinking.

She said she got the “fright of my life” when she was charged only £1 for a treple gin and tonic while visiting forces in the Falkland Islands two years ago.

Stupid cow. Why should a military base not in the UK pay UK rent, rates or booze taxes? Gin’s a £ a sodding bottle once you get rid of those things.

A military culture of heavy drinking can see service personnel “drinking to the point of oblivion” a defence minister has admitted as she faced calls to scrap subsidised drink in military bars.

Anna Soubry told an MPs committee the Government should do more to rein in a boozing culture within the Armed Forces.

She also faced calls to end cut price alcohol on military bases after one MP complained she had once been charged only £1 for a treble gin and tonic while visiting troops on the Falkland Islands.

There is no bloody subsidy:

Cheap drink is available to officers and senior NCOs in mess bars, though it is sold at a profit and not subsidised, while military bars on or near bases are most often operated by commercial outfits.

See?

And to get to the basics, if you’re trusting someone to be willing to go kill and or die for you you’ve got to trust them to be able to work out their own drinking patterns.

32 comments on “Absence of tax is not a subsidy

  1. Furthermore, if she’s worried about heavy drinking, what’s she doing with a treble G&T? Sanctimonious, hypocritical besom.

  2. Surely the story should really be “MP (who is used to buying cheap drinks in Westminster bars) drinks triple measures of spirits but bitches about squaddies getting pissed by being able to afford the same”

  3. Replace “armed forces” with “politicians”, also works with “journalists”.

    A Westminster culture of heavy drinking can see MPs “drinking to the point of oblivion” a defence minister has admitted as she faced calls to scrap subsidised drink in Westminster bars.
    Anna Soubry told an MPs committee the Government should do more to rein in a boozing culture within Westminster.
    She also faced calls to end cut price alcohol Westminster bars after one MP complained she had once been charged only £1 for a treble gin and tonic while visiting ministers in Westminster
    The minister told the defence select committee she was not a “killjoy” and recognised people with stressful jobs needed to let their hair down.
    However she said: “I am not convinced that we couldn’t do more about the culture of drinking in Westminster,”
    “I’m not some killjoy. But sometimes there has been an attitude in the past that it was acceptable, as part of that de-stressing process, to all go out and consume vast amounts of alcohol as part of that camaraderie and that letting down of the hair.
    “There is nothing wrong with some of that, but the levels of drinking to the point of oblivion and all the rest of it is a culture which I don’t welcome in any workforce.
    “The incidence of binge drinking, the quantities of alcohol, across society are beginning to diminish. I would hope that would be the same in politicians.”
    Her concerns had been heightened by a coroner’s report into the suicide of a serving MP.
    She told MPs “There were many things in that report that concerned me. One of them, quite clearly, the culture of heavy drinking.”
    Madeleine Moon MP said ending the “high level of subsidy” enjoyed at Westminster bars would help to curb drinking.
    She said she got the “fright of my life” when she was charged only £1 for a treple gin and tonic while parliament two years ago.
    The Institute for Employment Studies (IES) has been tasked by the Ministry of Defence with finding ways to cut problem drinking in parliament – and its report is due later this year.
    An MoD spokesman said: “Much like wider society, politicians accept that the moderate consumption of alcohol can be part of Westminster life.
    “However, we always encourage sensible drinking and have a number of programmes designed to raise awareness and prevent alcohol misuse.”
    Advice on the dangers of excessive drinking forms part of wider initiatives to encourage a healthy lifestyle among MPs, officials indicated.
    Cheap drink is available to MPs in Westminster, though it is sold at a profit and not subsidised, while parliamentary bars on or near bases are most often operated by commercial outfits.

  4. For an even better example of the ‘subsidy’ argument getting a free ride take a look at george Moonbat in the G yesterday. My link was courtsey of ritchie, who seems to have set up a ‘you scratch my back…’ arrangement with the libellous little shit.

    In essence, if you want to own a shotgun to go shooting on the moors we’ll regulate you and make you get a licence for it. you might not want regulation, but since when did that matter. Then, when we find the fee we’ve charged you for this licence is less than our administration costs, we’ll scream that you’re getting a “Subsidy” even though you didn’t want the ‘service’ in the first place.

    I remember Spitting Image once doing a consumer affairs sketch on evil people who were avoiding paying innocent suppliers, Mafia Ltd, for services such as installing swimming pools in their driveway, using the legal loophole of not having ordered the pool and not actually wanting it at all.

    George Moonbat and Ritchie would like to turn UK Gov. into Mafia Ltd.

  5. At least this shows, with absolutely no doubt, the enemy the UK armed forces are facing. The question is, do they have the weaponry & tactics to survive on the battlefield? It has the potential to be a long, grim war..

  6. This belief in hypothecation of taxes though only applies of course to people they don’t like – Note that people who go shooting on Grouse moors are toffs, have to be! – Well, if they are, our progressive tax system means they are already paying proportinately more than everyone else.

    But no; they must pay every penny of the adminstrative costs of their licence. Yet I don’t see George demanding that parents pay evey penny of the costs of educating their children or that DBS applicants pick up all the administrative costs of their application.
    Then there appears to be no ‘subsidy’.

    And for that matter I don’t hear a call for a reduction in fuel duty, or duty on drink or tobacco.

  7. “Anna Soubry told an MPs committee the Government should do more to rein in a boozing culture within the Armed Forces.”

    Anna Soubry can shut the fuck up until she’s done a job where she faces a realistic chance of being dead the next day.

  8. I become ever more convinced that blood will have to run in the streets and neck be stretched with hemp to extricate ourselves from this mess.

    As a display of hypocrisy, arrogance and stupidity, the girls have acheived the distinction of a 28 carat gold medal here.

    They sit in their subidised bars, drinking their subsidised drinks and eating their unhealthy rich subsidised food working out how to fiddle their expenses. When they decide their brains not up to sophisticated fiddling, they go “Sod it” and take the easy route. When they’ve fiddled enough, they turn their thoughts on how to screw us.

    And it doesn’t matter if the people they decide to screw are laying down their lives to satisfy the least whim of politicians who, apres Maggie, really think a bit of a war is a vote winner.

    Vile, disgusting, appalling people. I won’t go within a mile of Westminster in case I step in a politician.

  9. So you can get killed or fucked up for life physically, mentally and spiritually in service of the scum of the state–but they won’t stand you a drink (even tho’ as Tim says they aren’t anyway) with somebody else’s money, even when spending somebody else’s money is the number two thing they live for (No 1 being lording it over people).

    Tell me again why people join the military in this country?.

  10. Mr Ecks – “Tell me again why people join the military in this country?”

    To go windsurfing and abseiling like Frank.

    It’s all just a bait and switch to teach you ironing and the proper way to make a bed though.

  11. I met Anna Soubry socially a few times before she became an MP. A self-righteous cow who was very full of herself. Since being elected she’s done nothing except impersonate a Labour MP — everything she says involves some call for the state to take more action against the freedom of the people.

  12. This is just the way politicians count money. Every year in the Budget, the Chancellor “generously” “gives” some favoured group a freeze in their tax increase.

    My next-door neighbour didn’t give me fifty grand yesterday. Where am I supposed to find that kind of money?

  13. Right, my aim at the forthcoming elections is to vote against my Conservative incumbent. I don’t care who gets my vote, they just have to win. I have seen absolutely nothing in the past four years which justifies me voting for them ever again.

    Coalition is no excuse. No lib dem nutter put a gun to this dozy bitch’s head and forced her to say this.

  14. ” It’s all just a bait and switch to teach you ironing and the proper way to make a bed though.”

    Then there’s the hob nail boots.

  15. Last I heard we were subsidising the Parliamentary bars and restaurants by around £5 million a year.
    Until that ends I couldn’t be less interested in what any national politician says about food and drink.

  16. The Stigler said: “Anna Soubry [MP] can shut the fuck up until she’s done a job where she faces a realistic chance of being dead the next day.”

    In any sensible country her current ‘job’ would be just that.

  17. But I disagree with Tim’s title. Absence of tax can be a subsidy and is often deliberately used as a subsidy (if you like, a subsidy substitute, but financially the same thing).

    I agree that much of the time a subsidy is alleged, it isn’t; it depends on why there is the absence of tax. But if there is a tax that applies to most people, but one particular group are exempted from it for no logical reason other than to give them an exemption, that’s a subsidy.

    In this particular case, not charging UK duty in the Falkland Islands (which has its own tax system) clearly isn’t a subsidy – there is no ‘normal’ situation where UK duty would be charged there. However if there’s no tax on booze drunk in UK army bases (does anyone know? I’ve not heard of it) then that starts looking very much like a subsidy (although I would say a justifiable one).

  18. @Rob ‘Right, my aim at the forthcoming elections is to vote against my Conservative incumbent. I don’t care who gets my vote, they just have to win. I have seen absolutely nothing in the past four years which justifies me voting for them ever again.’

    Count me in, bar the ‘ever’. If Labour get in and really wreck the joint, perhaps there will be an Augean clearout at Central Office.

    That said, it’s not (as some people seem to think) Soubry who’s calling for the subsidy to be looked at, but Moon of Labour.

  19. However if there’s no tax on booze drunk in UK army bases (does anyone know? I’ve not heard of it) then that starts looking very much like a subsidy (although I would say a justifiable one).

    Booze sold on UK army bases is subject to alcohol duty, VAT and all the other little interferences the politicians place on our enjoyment. Germany was different – not just the lack of UK taxes but the Status of Forces Agreement meant that you could get it free of German tax too. Equally, the Royal Navy (and the Army’s boats) can serve booze duty free when outside UK territorial waters.

    RN cigarettes were called “blue liners” because the paper was marked so the dockyard cops could know whether you were taking duty-free cigarettes ashore (Jack being completely capable of stuffing duty-free fags in to an empty duty-paid carton.)

  20. I was in the Falklands in 1993 doing some defence system tests for Marconi and let me assure you, between the ever present wind, the horizontal rain that sounds like someone dropping ball-bearings on the core gated tin roof of the shacks they laughingly called “homes” in Port Stanley, I can understand why the forces personnel drink like fishes.

    Even the local girls were all about 13, had faces like they’d hit every branch on the ugly tree and dressed like the ladies of Greenham Common. Along with the unremittingly bleak landscape it would drive a teetotaller to drink.

    The penguins were fun though.

  21. Interested,

    “Count me in, bar the ‘ever’. If Labour get in and really wreck the joint, perhaps there will be an Augean clearout at Central Office.”

    I’m convinced there’s going to be a night of the long knives after 2015. All that ludicrous “detoxification” will be thrown out of the window and Cameron with it (appealing to the 3% of the country that reads the Guardian is not going to work).

  22. “That said, it’s not (as some people seem to think) Soubry who’s calling for the subsidy to be looked at, but Moon of Labour.”

    Meh. Her form on alcohol and ciggarettes is as long as your arm. She is definitely no friend of liberty.

  23. (appealing to the 3% of the country that reads the Guardian is not going to work).
    Order of magnitude error?

  24. bis,

    For some reason I had 3% in my head but it’s actually 1.4% (there’s a difference between circulation and readership).

    But still, a Conservative leader should be nurturing Sun and Mail readers.

  25. “But if there is a tax that applies to most people, but one particular group are exempted from it for no logical reason other than to give them an exemption, that’s a subsidy.”

    No, a selective tax is a *tariff* on those that pay it. Tariffs and subsidies are both forms of protectionism.

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