Recently in the UK the Coalition government has announced plans to introduce a minimum pricing policy on alcohol. In effect cheap alcohol that can be brought in Supermarkets will increase somewhat in price. A unit of alcohol will now have to cost a minimum of 40p.
The government argues that by introducing a minimum pricing policy it will reduce the amount of drunken behaviour on the streets, reduce crime and help people’s health. It may do all these things, we will have to wait and see, but I know what it does do. It disproportionately punishes people on lower incomes for the crimes of a few that cannot handle their drink. It is an additional tax on the people who can afford it least. Why shouldn’t someone on a low income enjoy an affordable beer at the weekend? And why should any government have the right to tell retailers what price point they should have on any kind of produce? Does this take things to far in your view? Or do the benefits of such a pricing policy outweigh the drawbacks?