Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Turning in his grave

I can’t imagine that the great economist and philosopher Adam Smith would be very impressed by the plans to implement a 45 pence per unit minimum alcohol price in his native land. But the arguments against it are very well summed up here by Dr Eamonn Butler from the modern-day institute that bears his name.

Even if cheap alcohol were the problem, how should you deal with it? Putting up the tax would at least be defensible economics. Minimum pricing isn’t. Price controls just mess up the market system and produce all sorts of perverse results which may be hard to predict. And once the politicians have started to regulate one price on the supermarket shelves, where do you think their public-spirited intervention will stop?

1 comment:

  1. Six months after the minimum price comes in the Daily mail will still be reporting on kids puking up near taxi ranks at 2am.

    The pre loading argument will be bunk, but the price argument will be conceded and pointing it's guns at your pub.


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