8 2 mins 15 yrs

It’s been widely reported that the Tories are thinking of increasing tax on beer by up to 7p a pint to curb binge drinking.

I believe this is the wrong approach and will not make the slightest bit of difference to binge drinking. People who binge drink tend to be young and affluent. They have much disposable income and they dispose of much of it by pouring booze down their throats and then pissing it up the wall.

A massive tax hike on beer will, however, have a huge impact on those for whom drinking beer is an occasional treat.

The pensioners.

These people have already been largely driven from their pubs which are keen to bring in the money of the wasteful youth – people who moan about the cost of housing, but drive £25,000 cars, take 3 foreign holidays a year in far off locations and will only wear clothing with the right “label” (why don’t they try something really radical, like saving up). Their quiet little retreats have been turned into noisy standup drinking dens full of drunken men and women and foul language shouted at high volume above the din of pumping dance beats. They’ve seen their local village haunts turned into gastropubs aimed at the middle classes who chatter incessantly about Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson. They’ve had the pleasure of drinking their one pint of bitter a week with the accompaniment of a cigarette or a puff on their pipe snatched away by the health nazis and now the one last thing left to them is about to taxed out of their price range.

Welcome to the brave new world of post-modern Britain. A playground for kidults. No jacket, tie or manners required. Over 65’s not welcome.

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8 thoughts on “Missing the target

  1. I have given Cameron the benefit of the doubt until now, but if the Tory way forward is patronising tax and control then we might be sticking with the devil we know.

  2. NRG,

    That’s the problem though, the devil we know is as bad as the Cameron devil we will get to know if he gets in. The pity is that the three large parties are all pro-Nanny State. This homogenous mass is what is turning people off voting since you only vote for more of the same. Perhaps that is why the likes of the UKIP do have merit if they can really sell us a viable alternative to the mess of interfering Nanny Statism!

  3. So much for the Tory ‘change of style’. For as long as I can remember, every budget since WWII was expected to have an increase in the tax on alcohol, – it was almost a tradition!.

    The evening paper headlines on Budget day, almost invariably led with a headline of "Two pence on a pint", or something similar.

    Just shows that the same old, ‘two dimensional’ style of thinking is one of the few things that have survived the Blair era, and that there is little new under the sun.

    And they have the gall to put this idea forward as ‘a product of their ‘think tank’. Surely a misnomer…or maybe a joke!

  4. Unfettered market forces at work appealing the biggest markets. Lacklustre Tory response seeks to push it back onto the people who arent adding to the problem. Get a grip on the industry. Get a grip on Mc Culture while theyre at it too.

  5. Stan, I heard a very convincing conspiracy theory the other day, and it’s worth repeating:

    For centuries, pubs have used as meeting places to hatch anti-governmental/royalist plots.
    The ‘Reevers’ and the gunpowder plotters were all hatched in pubs where booze galvanized their spirits and comradeship; and also acted as lookout posts.
    (Cromwell for example put pubs under special surveillance for that reason)

    By making pubs prohibitively expensive and unwelcoming by a smoking ban, people are forced to stay at home, and, instead of the…"come-on lads, raise your glasses to the downfall of tyrrany…."

    … watch govt-funded propaganda on TV, instead.

    Pubs are the last bastion where folk can gather, discuss, and conspire….and would-be totalitarian regimes FEAR them.

  6. Good article Stan, well said. Increasing tax on alcohol is just a lazy cop-out ‘solution’ to the problems that politicians really don’t want to face dealing around the abuse of drink in modern British society.

  7. Increasing the price of the pint also leads to the situation whereby as more people see the sense of buying a few cans and drinking at home (no drink-driving issues, can smoke, cheaper, toilets less crowded, less noisy etc), then the pubs see a downturn in business, leading to an increase in prices to offset the drop in customers, leading to a further drop in customer numbers followed by….well, yoiu get the picture. This is what happened in the late 80s to a lot of pubs until some bright spark hit on the idea of actually reducing the price of the pint and attracting more people.

  8. Not much point in saving their money anyway. If the finacial institutions don’t steal most of it,then the government will.

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