Tuesday 18 January 2011

Raising prices will reduce consumption, just like it has with petrol, insists government


The Government has announced plans to implement a minimum price for a unit of alcohol, which it claims will improve the nation’s health in the same way raising petrol prices has encouraged people to only use environmentally-friendly transport.

An announcement is expected which will see the minimum price of a unit of alcohol raised to make a can of weak lager at least 38p, and a litre of vodka £10.71, which the government insists will put an end to binge drinking once and for all.

A Health Department spokesperson explained, “It is a well-known economic principle that raising prices of a commodity reduces people’s demand for said commodity – unless that commodity is the sole reason for their miserable existence, and the only thing that gets them through the day.”

“You only have to look around you to see that taxing the arse out of a litre of petrol has made people think twice about taking their cars out.  You can’t move for bicycles on the roads nowadays, can you?”

“I drove down the M4 yesterday and it was deserted, there wasn’t another car for miles, all because of our progressive and conscientious attitude towards putting petrol out of the reach of people who don’t really need it.”

“Raising prices works, obviously.  The evidence is all around you.”

Minimum Alcohol Pricing

The response among the public to the upcoming alcohol price rises has been met mainly with ambivalence.

Keen drinker Mike Matthews told us, “The choice appears to be spend a couple of quid more before going out to try and have sex with someone, or staying in and not have sex with anyone at all?  I think I’ll spend a couple of quid more, thanks.”

However, another said, “If they raise the prices any more there’s a very good chance my virginity will grow back.  I’m already Googling for moonshine recipes.”

Economist Piers Waltham-Hallows explained the impact of the price rise likely to be felt further down the value chain.

“Basically, street beggars will want a bit more, teenagers allowances will go up a bit, people will spend a bit less in pubs, but one thing that absolutely definitely won’t happen, is that people will choose to start drinking less.”

“I have to say, as far as revenue generation exercises go, this is by far the Government’s least concealed one so far.”

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