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Dick Puddlecoate\’s found a good one.

This minimum alcohol pricing. It\’ll add to inflation.

Implementation of a minimum unit price at any level will increase prices and therefore inflation. As shown in Table 4 the impact of a 45p MUP is estimated to be a +0.2ppts, based on the weight of off-trade alcohol sold in the Consumer Prices Index.

Benefits are uprated for inflation. Benefits bill is £160 billion a year.

So that\’s £300 million right there.

Oh, and the supposed drop in consumption? That\’ll cost £200 million in lost excise duty as people tax avoid by drinking less.

So, half a billion a year out of the public purse.

Still think it\’s worth it?

These people really are morons doing it this way aren\’t they?

15 thoughts on “Dick Puddlecoate\’s found a good one.”

  1. But Tim you dont need business or economic knowledge sense to run a goverment or design policy, as I have been told time and time again running a country is nothing like a business, that of course means to the extreme of, well, this..

  2. Won’t it only go into recorded inflation (and hence increased benefits) if cheap booze is in the ONS’s “basket”?

    Anyone know if it is? Wouldn’t surprise me if they only counted the more expensive brands.

  3. Talking of ONS statistics, I was once picked for their Income & Expenditure survey.

    2 weeks of recording everything you spend – during which I popped over to France to buy 6 months worth of cheap red wine. Wonder if it was enough to distort that year’s figures?

  4. If their sample was adequate for the purposes they use it for, you won’t have ‘distorted’ the figure because there are lots of people who pop to France for their wine – your purchase being noted would help contribute to an accurate reflection of reality.

  5. Why don’t they do something to enhance life? They could ban lager and insist that people acquire a taste for proper grown-up beer, frinstance.

  6. Nothing wrong with a good lager. And you even get some passably good ones next to the piss, these days, thanks to all the Poles and Eastern Europeans over here.

  7. Dave, it was more the 6 months supply in 2 weeks that I hoped might distort the figures; as you say it depends on whether enough people do that level of bulk buying.

    But if I am responsible for the apparent statistical increase in British wine drinking, my apologies.

  8. I reckon it’s going to be a whole lot worse than that.
    He, he, he ,he….
    What we have now is a demand for cheap alcohol.
    Currently supplied by white cider & mystery vodka etc.
    So what will we have after the introduction of minimum pricing? Country full of idiots?
    We will still have a demand for cheap alcohol.

    Last time I paid the official UK price for tobacco products was a dozen years ago. That was the day before I discovered my helpful Turkish grocer was flogging smuggled, under the counter. That reduced the cost by almost a half & from then on I watched the attempt to control the consumption of tobacco products by price with amusement. What’s the percentage of rolling tobacco bought, smuggled now? 45%?
    But this time it won’t be smuggling.
    Thanks to Messrs Blair & Brown we now have large numbers of enterprising E. Europeans in the country. E. Europeans who are dab hands at knocking up stills & distilling vodka. Not bad vodka either, if you don’t mind 100 proof. And it’s way, way easier than smuggling. Absolutely impossible to control.
    And it’ll go exactly the same as the tobacco. The price rise creates the market & then it’s just the creating of lines of supply. So we’ll have the backyman, drops by the pub Friday evening. And the Chinese does the snide DVDs. And now the Pole flogging rocket fuel out the boot of his car. Wonderful! Because once the market’s established it does not go away.
    That’ll sort the tax grabbing bastards.

  9. Hmm, not sure if its really inflation in the sense of reduction of purchasing power of currency. Your money buys you less, looks like inflation, but there has been no increase in factor costs of any sort – its all gone into profit or whatever. Suppose it all goes into profit, which is then all paid out to pensioners – then you’ve been made to contribute to pensions – smells like inflation, but in fact its not. You are buying more, booze plus pensioner well-being.

    It will of course be measured as inflation in the CPI, as indeed it is by the definition of CPI.

    But its not an actual reduction in what can be bought with money, but a reduction in your freedom to spend it how you please. You are not free to buy booze without also being nice to pensioners.

    If inflation is a monetary phenomenon, then this is not in fact inflation, its just a rise in price.

  10. I work with some serious drinkers. The 20+ units a day kind.

    Increased price for them will just mean more shoplifting, more selling of their body, more of their money spent on booze. I’d be very suprised if any of them reduced their alcohol intake one bit. May cut down a little on the eating…

  11. @Martin Davies
    The last major drinker of that sort I encoutered tended to obtain his wiskey for £0.00 a bottle… he wandered into somewhere like Morrisons, stuck a bottle or two under his coat, and wandered out again sharpish. He was fairly canny, used to hit every place in a town in a morning, the make off with the loot, and repeat the procedure 50 miles away… He’d sell some on, and drink the rest. IIRC he ‘worked’?at the local scrappies a bit, and the boss lad there used to buy most of his surplus for half the label price…

    On the other hand, my near alcoholic (a full bottle of wine most nights) mate won’t be affected as he holds down a well paid job (steel fabricator) and thus affords downing half decent stuff anyway…

    I imagine it will be teenagers who get the hit – in my experience they are the greatest consumers of really cheap and nasty booze, as they can’t afford anything else…

  12. I imagine it will be teenagers who get the hit – in my experience they are the greatest consumers of really cheap and nasty booze, as they can’t afford anything else

    well, they will probably just smoke more weed instead. As will students. Or there may be a resurgence of home-brewing, of course.

    that’s if (ref BIS above) it doesn’t just mean more smuggling. My local corner shop already sells beer at a price that undercuts tesco. I choose, naturally, to believe that this is because he gets amazing discounts for buolk buying and therefore make all my beer purchases from him in order to encourage his sensible approach to sensible capitalism. I would be shocked – shocked – to discover he wasn’t paying full duty on it.

  13. This ties in rather nicely with that thread about trust and social cohesion. It seems we’ve got lots of enterprising immigrants with a somewhat more flexible approach to the morality of taxation than, say, a certain retired accountant, who are ready and willing to flog the less enterprising Brits lots of cheap booze and fags. That will do more for integration and tolerance of immigration than a whole army of diversity coordinators.

  14. “This ties in rather nicely with that thread about trust and social cohesion.”
    And illustrates the difference between the middle class wittering above about booze cruises & lager versus beer & the world of the people on the estates & in the inner cities who are the target of the minimum pricing. Seriously. They do not give a FUCK about the effect on the cost of own label beaujolais.
    To them the benefits of immigration are not vibrant multiculturalism but the spades supplying good weed & the Turks smuggling cheap tobacco & that’s the interface social cohesion happens.

  15. It’s all good, ultimately. You can’t cheat the FMCG market. Artificially depress the price, everything sells out in seconds to those with capital up front and comes back on the black market. Artificially inflate it and it gets smuggled (or nicked and re-sold at closer to market value). I don’t even see it as crime; it’s actually a mechanism to keep governments (and retailer cartels) honest.

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