The interesting aspect of news is often in the smaller stories. An empty drum makes the most noise and all that. This little piece caught my eye, today, after Mr Davis’s appearance on the political show that is Question Time.
There is much talk, hypocrisy and nonsense in the world of beer in regard to the thorny issue of minimum pricing, whereby the government would apply a minimum price to a unit of alcohol. The supporters of such a move are those that think the health of the nation would be improved if the proletariat (me) drank less, those that want to ban booze altogether, and those that think the fate of the pub industry would improve if the cheap grog I enjoy at home cost me more.
However the question remains, if a 40p can of lout suddenly becomes £1, who gets the 60p? The brewer? The supermarket? The government?
Here I think we have the answer. It would be the government. An answer I find more acceptable than the other 2, what with the country teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. No one in their right mind thinks that taxes will not rise, regardless of the colour of the government, after the election? The country is broke, something’s gotta give, what usually gives?
Booze, like petrol and fags, is most defiantly in for a kicking. It is unavoidable, and given the choice between higher grog prices and higher income tax, I’d personally prefer what are known as sin taxes. You can avoid indirect taxes, you cannot avoid direct ones. Whilst they are regressive, hitting the poor hardest, the poor like everyone else can avoid them by not sinning. And enjoying yourself is a sin, it’s in the bible and stuff. All that is fun, Boozing, shagging and what not is sinful. It would not be as much fun if it wasn’t. Sin adds spice to already fun things making them more fun.
Here’s the rub. Once my cooking lager costs me more, I might very well choose to neck less of it. I doubt I’ll be tempted to go and pay £3 a pop in a pub any more than I do now. The behaviour of the less responsible among us will not change, but the preloading argument will no longer hold water. Pubs and bars will be seen for what they are, the source of the 3am kebab shop fights. That’s the point the price of a pint in your pub will be hit.
Even if taxes are raised first on my cheap lout, we will be on a countdown to a leap in the price of your pongy beer. In such times I expect the number of cooking lager enthusiasts to grow.
Sadly there is nothing to be done. Prices are going up, so I shall stock up of cheap lout whilst I can. I implore you to do the same. Cooking Lager lasts forever. Fill your garages with a decade’s supply and sit it out, till better times emerge. Tis an ill wind I tell you.