RadioLive asks “Is alcohol too cheap?”
Would lifting the price of alcohol reduce consumption?
Possibly, depending on how much the price was increased.
Justice Minister Judith Collins has confirmed the idea of a minimum price for alcohol is being floated, due to concerns that it is available too cheaply. The regime may be included in last-minute changes to legislation.
The Law Commission recommendations include a 50 percent excise tax on alcohol.
In general I’m against penalising everyone to address a problem with a minority.And so is Bill English…
Acting Prime Minister Bill English this morning told Marcus Lush the Government has not yet seen convincing evidence that an increase in price will make a difference to consumption.
“With alcohol, there’s a lot of people for whom moderate consumption is just fine – it doesn’t have a detrimental effect on their health or their state of mind.”
So I have been reluctant to support artificially pushing up the price of alcoholic drinks.
Is price-fixing best way to cut alcohol consumption?
It may cut consumption, depending on how much of a price increase.
Or is it merely a swipe at the poor?
Good grief, soon we won’t be able to change anything in case some poor person could conceivably be detrimentally affected. Leave that out of this argument.
An illogical case for increasing the price of alcohol
I drink a small-moderate amount of alcohol, and have thought that I shouldn’t have to pay more for it to try and stop a few heavy drinkers from making a mess of themselves.
- Alcohol is a non-essential “luxury”
- A modest increase in price may hardly affect modest drinkers
- None of us would be harmed if we drank a bit less alcohol
- The extra tax would be handy right now
- It may stop heavy drinkers from drinking so much
Those aren’t all strong reasons to increase alcohol prices, but there’s no strong reason not to, and we could all benefit a bit.