This chart of tax paid on booze in supermarkets is instructive:
Shows you quite how much is already gouged out of you when you try to partake of one of the pleasures of life. But even more instructive is this:
Safe drinking campaigners say it is impossible for supermarkets to make any profit on a £20 bottle of vodka, if 88 per cent of the sale price is being passed straight to the Treasury through VAT and duty.
I don\’t see why it\’s impossible for them to make a profit on such: Morrison\’s has £1,17 to play with on that bottle of Smirnoff. But let\’s go further and accept that it is in fact true, that they\’re not making a profit, that they are selling at cost.
That\’s actually what we want, isn\’t it? If you look at the classical economic models what happens in a perfectly competetive market is that competition forces profit margins down to zero. To the benefit of the consumer, of course. That the supermarkets are selling things at cost shows that, in this sector of the market at least, that we do indeed have something close to perfect competition and that the consumer is thus benefiting.
A cause for celebration, surely? So, who has the best deal on bubbly?