Sean Gabb on LBC with Iain Dale, on Friday the 23rd March . They discussed whether the British Government should set minimum prices for alcohol.
Sean says no for these reasons:
- The drunks who make a nuisance of themselves in public have not been drinking cheap alcohol. They have been drinking at some very expensive establishments. Sticking a pound on the price of each drink they consume will have no effect on the trouble they make.
- The real purpose of this measure is to increase what David Webb has called fiscal embezzlement by the ruling class. This is a tax by any other name.
- It is a tax that will hurt the poor. A few pounds of a bottle of shiraz will have no observable effect on the middle classes. No taxing or regulation of alcohol will have any effect on the Members of Parliament – they can drink subsidised alcohol all round the clock in the Palace of Westminster. But minimum pricing will hurt the poor. These are people who, more than anyone else, need the break from stress that alcohol provides. But any increase in prices will force them to choose between going without their drink or cutting down on some other necessary.