All for our own good
YOUR front page headline last week 'Cheap Booze Crackdown' follows the national drip of negative news all over the media regarding the 'binge drinking' scourge that is affecting this country.
The more we are subjected to this one-sided argument through the media, from the likes of NICE, puritans and other assembled do-gooders, the more likely we are to accept minimum prices on alcohol – for our own good of course!
But why should anybody be happy to pay extra for any product because of misuse by the few? How long will it be until the price of televisions and related products like DVDs, computers etc, already viewed as harmful to our children's health, be driven up in price because it will also be good for us as a nation?
"Tesco has thrown its weight behind the recommendations. They will support any legislation brought in to set minimum pricing." Of course they will! At a stroke, they will have an increase in profits that is protected in law and content in the knowledge they can't be undercut.
Also in your report licensees are quoted bemoaning the low supermarket prices. But before pointing the finger, they should first analyse the difference in pricing.
The supermarkets deal directly with the breweries and hence have only their cost base and profit to consider. Pub prices are arrived at after passing through a longer supply chain of breweries, pub companies and the licensees with all of these having a cost base to cover and profits to make with dividends having to go to shareholders.
Hence the higher price!
Why don't the licensees admit publicly that the smoking ban is the single biggest contributory factor in the demise of the pub trade and that people are drinking at home so they can continue to enjoy both?
Should this clamour for an increase in pricing of alcohol become a reality, and bearing in mind the argument for this is the nation's health, how long will it be before high fat foods, foods containing salt, sugar, or the plethora of things deemed unhealthy, are also subject to minimum pricing?