28 November, 2012

Booze and the rich boy

You'd have thought David Cameron would have gone out of his way to shrug off the 'Little Rich Boy' tag, yet he seems to relish it, if reports about minimum alcohol pricing are to be believed.

The papers say that there will be a minimum price of 45p per unit, which would push the price of a bottle of vodka to £12. It would sell for around £6-7 in the civilised world.

This will do nothing to prevent 'binge drinking'. It is more likely to encourage it, as well as other crimes. Alcohol is already far too expensive in Britain; people are drinking less than they did ten years ago. Britain's alcohol consumption is lower than that of France, Germany or Spain. In the EU the UK already has the second highest duty on wine, the third highest on beer and the fourth highest on spirits. Yet the government slavishly follows the anti-alcohol lobby.

Alcohol duty is a regressive tax, affecting everybody regardless of earnings. This will be seen as the Little Rich Boy's attack on the poor.

If he's got any sense Cameron will drop it like a hot coal.

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