Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Left hand vs right hand

It’s an amusing bit of Schadenfreude to see different sections of the government at each others’ throats over the issue of minimum pricing. Outlawing below-cost selling is fair enough, but imposing minimum pricing would be a profoundly anti-competitive measure. In effect, it would be legitimising price-fixing by retailers. And supporters of the on-trade are deluding themselves if they think it would do anything to help pubs, as even with a 50p/unit minimum price, drink in the pub would still be considerably more expensive. The only people it would benefit are cross-border smugglers and the manufacturers of home-brew kits.

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