Wednesday 28 December 2011

Government to encourage smuggling

So, David Cameron wants to raise alcohol prices, does he?  I'm really fed up writing about this, so I'll just point out that:
  1. UK alcohol is now so dear that HMRC lose £800 million because of smuggling (government estimate).
  2. British beer tax accounts for 40% of the entire European beer tax bill, even though the UK accounts for only 13% of EU beer consumption (EU figures).
Cameron's preferred policy will only make both those situations worse.  I've argued before (most recently on 19 December) that further increases in alcohol duty will raise no significant revenue and may be counter-productive.  That is uniquely a lose-lose-lose situation, but you can't stop a politician once he's got the nanny state bit between his teeth:  reason and common sense are left far behind.

Mr Cameron:  how about dealing with the economy and getting people back to work?  Stopping the erosion of ordinary voters' spending power so they can put money into the economy?  Plugging the loopholes whereby rich corporations and individuals collectively dodge £95,000 million tax every year?

No, when your policies are bankrupt, like the country you're supposed to be running, just go after the drinkers.  That'll sort it out.


  1. So is Red Ed going to be standing up for the interests of the poor, oppressed working-class drinker?

  2. I'm surprised you think so, Curmudgeon, because I don't.

  3. That was a question, not a statement.

  4. No, it was a sarcastic comment framed as a question. As you well know, Labour weren't much better on this issue than the current lot. And I criticised them for it at the time.

    As an aside: if you genuinely believe Ed Miliband is red, I hate to think whereabouts on the political spectrum you're placed.


Comments, including disagreements, are welcome.
Abuse and spam are not and will be deleted straight away.
Comment moderation is installed for older posts.