Brave or stupid ? Seven pence on a pint from the Tories

If I was being glib I would say that the Tory proposal to add seven pence to the price of a pint in order to curb binge drinking was a sure fire vote loser. However, to be fair, the policy surely has some merits as binge drinking is an issue that needs to be addressed and it needs some bold thinking.

So, let me shock some Tories by saying well done to Iain Duncan Smith for being prepared to be different and taking a risk.


David Anthony said...

The one time you agree with the Tories, I disagree with you. Come on, 7p on a pint won't make the slightest bit of difference. If he was seruious about this he would have put a pound on a pint.

Tristan said...

Hardly different, new or bold. Its part of a prohibitionist and puritan trend. Its suggested every so often by social authoritarians.

Of course, this won't stop binge drinking, demand is fairly inelastic (which is why alcohol is taxed anyway).

Anyway, if getting drunk by drinking beer is made more expensive people will just drink stronger drinks, leading to even more problems. Prohibition and taxation never deals with such 'problems'.

I take it the right to put what you like in your body is not an area where you're a liberal.
I don't care if people get horribly drunk so long as they suffer the consequences.
They should pay for all damage they do, they should have to clean up after themselves (or up after other drunk people when they're sober).

People will always get drunk and misbehave. No amount of tax will prevent that, prohibition showed that.

Paul Hulbert said...

I'm not sure that 7p a pint is much of an economic deterrent. 7p x 10 pints say = 70p per binge. 3 times a week say = £2.10. Just over £100 a year. Three tanks of petrol...

Of course, if such a small sum IS an effective deterrent, we should await more Tory initiatives. Global warming? A penny on firelighters. Crime rates? Fine them an extra pound.

But there are implied assumptions and viewpoint in the Tory proposal - that people who can afford those few extra pence anyway are responsible citizens; and that those who can't afford the extra are potential offenders. It's social policy targeted by one social group at another.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Oh I agree that the economics of 7p do not make sense. However, i was trying to be a positive politicians, not simply rubbishing the Tories out of hand but praising them, for once, for trying to approach a problem from a different angle.

If I were involved in front line politics though I would be tempted to use it on every leaflet to attack them though.

Joe Otten said...

I think boost to organised smuggling, and pointless trips to Calais will do more harm than the slight reduction in drinking that would result from this.

Yes, some people are irresponsible, but the solution is not to further infantilise them.

Anonymous said...

As a heavy (binge) drinker, I can assure you that it won't make any difference. Iain Dale is right (and it's not always that I agree with him) that taxing people and things isn't a Conservative belief.