Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Minimum Alcohol Pricing - Is it Ethical? Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    The Government are considering a minimum price of 45p for each alcohol unit.

    Do you think this is the ethically wrong?
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    It might not be right, but it definitely isn't ethically wrong - it's not like a 45p tax on water, bread, milk or oxygen. Besides, you can make your own alcoholic beverages tax free if you want.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    I'm split on this.

    On the one hand, it makes sense to me, like smoking, drinking puts a big strain on public services, inflating the price with tax has a two-fold affect. It prices people out of the market, they simply cannot afford as much, and the extra tax helps to pay for the effects of the alcohol.

    On the other hand, I like alcohol and don't want to see it get anymore expensive
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    If they think it will have a positive impact overall on society - less drunkards entering hospital being catered for by the tax payer every Saturday night, when that could go towards someone who genuinely needs the care - I'm all for it.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Surely if they impose a min price, the extra money suppliers are going to make from the sale is just going to be reinvested in marketing to make you pay even higher prices?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I don't really think it's ethically wrong


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    I don't much fancy the prospect of the cheapest bottle of 40% spirit being £12.60.
    On the plus side, those of us who know how to brew can make a killing on the black market by undercutting every shop in the country
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by gagaslilmonsteruk)
    If they think it will have a positive impact overall on society - less drunkards entering hospital being catered for by the tax payer every Saturday night, when that could go towards someone who genuinely needs the care - I'm all for it.
    U nazi, not every person who drinks 7 beers at a saturday is a person who harasses or bothers people...
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Steevee)
    I'm split on this.

    On the one hand, it makes sense to me, like smoking, drinking puts a big strain on public services, inflating the price with tax has a two-fold affect. It prices people out of the market, they simply cannot afford as much, and the extra tax helps to pay for the effects of the alcohol.

    On the other hand, I like alcohol and don't want to see it get anymore expensive
    I might just be being dumb but I'm not sure if it is gonna be in the form of tax or just a minimum price for the sellers.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    no it's ethanol
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hopple)
    It might not be right, but it definitely isn't ethically wrong - it's not like a 45p tax on water, bread, milk or oxygen. Besides, you can make your own alcoholic beverages tax free if you want.
    It says poor people get screwed over more. I don't have a problem with big government in and of itself. But this is a case of it telling people what to consume. It's the same as the prohibition of marijuana in my eyes, although that's obviously more extreme.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    The policy in itself isn't intrinsically ethically wrong, but in my view it is still a bad policy which would have regrettable effects. The problem here is that the demand for alcohol is often highly inelastic, especially for those consumers who are effectively dependent on the drug. When governments introduce taxes, the more elastic agent (either the consumer or firm) is able to avoid the tax. Because the consumers in this market have such a highly inelastic demand (i.e. are willing to keep buying the product in large quantities irrespective of price increases), firms will be able to "pass on" the tax to consumers. So this policy will serve to compound the misery of alcoholics who don't have much money, such as some homeless people. It won't stop them from buying alcohol, it will just lead them to spend an even higher proportion of the money they have on it. I'm quite sure that this policy has been attacked, on these grounds, by both left-wing and right-wing economists. It simply doesn't make a great deal of sense.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by there's too much love)
    It says poor people get screwed over more. I don't have a problem with big government in and of itself. But this is a case of it telling people what to consume. It's the same as the prohibition of marijuana in my eyes, although that's obviously more extreme.
    Surely you don't disagree with alcohol being controlled? Yes there's a double standard regarding alcohol and other drugs such as marijuana, but that doesn't mean they all should be freely permitted. Besides, the side effects of a drunken mob are far more damaging beyond themselves than a mob high on marijuana. Even supporters of relaxing drug laws point out that alcohol is more dangerous. It's like a car, you show you're responsible enough to use it, and even then there are restrictions on how you can use it because they're dangerous to society in general. Although, one can brew their own alcohol should the price of branded alcohol go too high.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Steevee)
    I'm split on this.

    On the one hand, it makes sense to me, like smoking, drinking puts a big strain on public services, inflating the price with tax has a two-fold affect. It prices people out of the market, they simply cannot afford as much, and the extra tax helps to pay for the effects of the alcohol.

    On the other hand, I like alcohol and don't want to see it get anymore expensive
    I feel i should point out that smoking puts no strain on public services and is a giant cash cow for the government, if they dont pass down the revenues to the NHS thats the governments fault...
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Actually in Sweden the government has the monopoly on alcohol, and it works out great they still have crap tones of pubs its just that they don't sell alcohol in stores except for the government run systembolaget. The purpose of the systembolaget is: To minimize alcohol-related problems by selling alcohol in a responsible way, without profit motive and it has been that way since 1955. So aslong as pubs get it tax free, I do not have a problem with them taxing alcohol sold in stores here because there has to be a way to try and make money back from all the damage done by drunken people to themselves, and to public property. However, I think going for a swedish style system would be the best thing for everyone.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Steevee)
    I'm split on this.

    On the one hand, it makes sense to me, like smoking, drinking puts a big strain on public services, inflating the price with tax has a two-fold affect. It prices people out of the market, they simply cannot afford as much, and the extra tax helps to pay for the effects of the alcohol.

    On the other hand, I like alcohol and don't want to see it get anymore expensive

    Governments can neither increase nor decrease tax revenues, only tax rates. This price increase may lower the tax revenues that the government collects on alcohol.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Any alcohol worth drinking is already more than 45p per unit anyway.

    This will only affect alcoholics who buy own-brand cider etc. But if alcoholics can no longer afford even the cheapest alternative, surely it is common sense to assume they will turn to shoplifting and theft to meet their needs?
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hopple)
    Surely you don't disagree with alcohol being controlled? Yes there's a double standard regarding alcohol and other drugs such as marijuana, but that doesn't mean they all should be freely permitted. Besides, the side effects of a drunken mob are far more damaging beyond themselves than a mob high on marijuana. Even supporters of relaxing drug laws point out that alcohol is more dangerous. It's like a car, you show you're responsible enough to use it, and even then there are restrictions on how you can use it because they're dangerous to society in general. Although, one can brew their own alcohol should the price of branded alcohol go too high.
    I'm not saying it shouldn't be controlled.
    I'm saying it shouldn't be used as a way to tell the poor they can't do things that the rich can. And that's what this sort of minimum pricing policy does.

    Stop 15 year olds from getting alcohol? Great. Stop 17 year olds from getting spirits, great.
    That lets them slide neatly into adult hood where they can make informed decisions.

    Make it so that alcohol can't go on as good offers, so that it's harder for poor people to get alcohol? No. Just no.
    And brewing your own alcohol is often disgusting in consequence.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by there's too much love)
    I'm not saying it shouldn't be controlled.
    I'm saying it shouldn't be used as a way to tell the poor they can't do things that the rich can. And that's what this sort of minimum pricing policy does.

    Stop 15 year olds from getting alcohol? Great. Stop 17 year olds from getting spirits, great.
    That lets them slide neatly into adult hood where they can make informed decisions.

    Make it so that alcohol can't go on as good offers, so that it's harder for poor people to get alcohol? No. Just no.
    And brewing your own alcohol is often disgusting in consequence.
    For stuff that costs money, of course the poor can't do what the rich can You might as well complain about VAT, or even income tax.

    The aim of this policy is to reduce crime/protect the general public, with some consideration given to public health. Do you dispute that those objectives would be achieved?
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Ishkabibble)
    Actually in Sweden the government has the monopoly on alcohol, and it works out great they still have crap tones of pubs its just that they don't sell alcohol in stores except for the government run systembolaget. The purpose of the systembolaget is: To minimize alcohol-related problems by selling alcohol in a responsible way, without profit motive and it has been that way since 1955. So aslong as pubs get it tax free, I do not have a problem with them taxing alcohol sold in stores here because there has to be a way to try and make money back from all the damage done by drunken people to themselves, and to public property. However, I think going for a swedish style system would be the best thing for everyone.
    When I lived in Sweden, I found the whole system to be incredibly patronising, restrictive and honestly quite absurd. Everyone who lived close enough got their alcohol from Denmark anyway, there didn't seem to be any problem with that (indeed, on my trips to Denmark, every other person seemed to be Swedish).

    I don't think it's the government's place to impose that sort of control. Problem drinkers are still problem drinkers, irrespective of where they get it from, and it just makes things far more awkward and expensive for the majority of people who don't have a drinking problem.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Would you like to hibernate through the winter months?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.