The duty increase as a way to fight binge drinking
March 15, 2008
Last Wednesday as anticipated and expected, the Chancellor has announced the duty increase as the solution for the binge drinking, however, we all know that this won't have any effect on the binge drinking but will only penalise conscientious drinkers and will help supermarkets in growing even more their market share and put small and independent and knowledgeable shops out of business. Together with small and independent shops, once again, the consumers are the losers, consumers that enjoy responsibly a glass or two of wine with their meal, whilst the ones that binge drinking will still be able to find low priced alcoholic drinks.
In fact, the same day the Chancellor has announced the increase, an advertising campaign, from all major supermarkets, has started on the radio promoting half price beer and wine. Maybe not all consumers are aware that the increase will only have effect from tomorrow at midnight, but this has been launched to respond to the invasion of budget reports broadcasted by all TV and published by all papers to grab consumers' attention, suddenly everyone was thinking about the duty, and making them unconsciously buying as a response to the duty increase.
What the government seems not to realise is that binge drinking can only be fought by educating people and especially youngster and forbidding supermarkets from selling low priced alcoholic drinks. I come from a country where the wine is widely available and it is cheap, no duty on it, and we never had the binge drinking problem, because more than a problem binge drinking is a culture and to fight a culture you need to educate people. If the culture is not changed, binge drinkers will simply move their buying habits towards something cheaper. Read my previous posting about binge drinking
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