They\’re lying. Again

Dr Evelyn Gillan, the chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, said there was clear evidence from Canada that minimum pricing saved lives.

No, there isn\’t. As we saw just this last week, the evidence from Canada is that higher prices reduce consumption. This isn\’t a surprise to anyone.

However, those higher prices come from higher taxation plus distribution monopolies. That is, it\’s the State making the extra money.

The stupidity of minimum pricing is not that higher prices won\’t reduce legal consumption, for of course they will. It\’s that the extra money won\’t be going in tax. It\’ll be going to the retailers and manufacturers. And what sort of fucking cretin uses the law to increase producer margins?

Higher prices or not higher prices is one thing: lower consumption or not part of that same argument.

But minimum pricing instead of using tax is simple stupidity.

11 thoughts on “They\’re lying. Again”

  1. Indeed, with minimum pricing the Treasury would take a hit because of the reduced consumption.

  2. Good comment.

    Next – proscribed ‘recreational’ drugs – make them legal and remove the surrounding criminal industry, bring an end to the phoney ‘war on drugs’ – if people are stupid enough to ‘hook up’ – then so be it.

  3. What is the point of minimum pricing – why are the idiots wanting it as opposed to raising duty? Is it just so they can hide what they’re doing, or so they have larger profits to complain about in the future?

  4. Your argument, Tim, is so simple that a 12 year-old could understand it. Could it be that the lobby groups are led by dried-out alkies whose brain damage has proved irreversible? Or is genetics the explanation?

  5. Depends on the effect on consumption I would have thought. Minimum pricing might reduce turnover, actually reduce profits for the manufacturers and distributors.

  6. @dearieme: its a consequence of the Left’s good intentions self image concept. They came up with the minimum price idea, therefore it must, by definition, be the best one, because their intentions are good, and (in their own minds) they are incapable of doing wrong. Anyone who opposes it, even just to suggest a better way of raising prices, is therefore not only incorrect but actively malevolent.

  7. The Thought Gang

    Is a retailer currently free to sell booze at any price.. even if that price is lower than the duty payable?

    I do hear a lot of the prohibitionists complaining that the nasty supermarkets use cheap booze as a loss leader. If that’s a thing that happens, then minimum pricing prevents it in a way that increased duty does not.

    (I’m not trying to be devils advocate.. just trying to think of any vaguely plausible motivations for this lunacy. Mind you, I’d rather we didn’t point out that duty increases are better.. because the correct response to all this is ‘fuck off and stop trying to find ways toprevent poor people enjoying themselves’)

  8. Well, this is the thing. If you artificially hike prices, somebody reprehensible will get money artificially transferred to them from consumers. It might be the government. It might be the producer cartel. Whoever it is, some cunt is getting an economic rent.

    Which is why you must never, ever, ever artificially raise prices. Lloyd Cunting George be damned. Sin is not a matter for the State.

  9. Why will extra money be going to the manufacturers? Surely they’ll be getting less money?

    If left to the market, prices converge on the equilibrium where supply meets demand and profits are maximised. Raise prices, then fewer people buy, and the drop in sales exceeds the increased margin. Also, producing less requires fewer employees, and you lose the economies of scale.

    It’s the same idea as saying that the way to raise tax revenues is to increase the tax rate. It’s the Laffer curve for private industry.

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