Saturday, October 20, 2012

None of their business... you'd think.

Bulk discounts are part of business, companies will often offer a greater discount the more of a product you buy, accepting a lower profit margin per item in regards to clearing shelf space and selling more of said item, buy one, get one free is another derivative of this ethos. After all if the customer is coming to you and not your rivals because of this, guess who's going to remain in business? However when it comes to items such as alcohol, well the do-gooders and idiot politicians demand that different rules apply...
Supermarkets will be banned from discounting multiple bottles of wine under Government plans to be set out within days. The Coalition’s alcohol strategy — expected to be launched next week — will propose that special deals which encourage shoppers to buy in bulk should be outlawed, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.
Most supermarkets offer significant discounts for customers buying bottles of wine by the dozen or half-dozen. Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, for example, regularly offer a 25 per cent discount for six bottles of wine.
Ministers believe such promotions give customers a financial incentive to purchase more alcohol than they intended to buy and should be banned.
The plans, being driven by David Cameron, have raised fears that middle-class households will bear the brunt of measures supposedly aimed at troublemaking youths and other anti-social drinkers.
The measures will include a new minimum price for alcohol as ministers try to reduce what they say is irresponsible drinking.
They say new curbs on sales are required because of the growing problems of crime and illness caused by alcohol consumption. The most recent figures show the NHS treats more than 1.1 million people every year as a result of the effects of alcohol.
I'm not an irresponsible drinker, granted I've gotten drunk on a few occasions, though I've never started or been in a fight, nor have I ever required hospital treatment after drinking alcohol to excess or otherwise. Yet it seems that if a supermarket wants to offer me a discount for buying in bulk a product I use responsibly they're going to be prevented by law from doing so.
So what if people do use the product irresponsibly?
Well the obvious answer is to charge them for their treatment, lock them up for misbehaving and generally make those who cause problems whilst under the influence regret their actions in such a way as to make a repeat offence unlikely. Of course that's rather too simple for the government who'd rather get their hands on our cash than actually logically tackle a problem by going after the troublemakers.
Again and again politicians remove our basic freedoms in vain attempts to try and get us to behave, usually invoking the law of unintended consequences as a result. Make alcohol prices too high and guess what? People will find something cheaper (and probably illegal) to use as a substitute (thus losing the tax revenues that could have gone for treatment later)
Why do our politicians not get the art of joined up thinking?
Is it truly a case of enter Westminster but leave your brains at the door?

5 annotations:

BG! said...

I'll wager that this barmy ban on discounting bulk purchases won't apply to how the supermarkets buy their wine from the wholesalers/importers.

It's yet another plan that supports discrimination in our so-called democracy.

There's still hope - Jeremy Hunt is (allegedly) supporting this hare-brained scheme. If so, it's bound to go t1ts-up.

Anonymous said...

The directors of the ferry companies and Eurotunnel are probably rubbing their hands in glee at this action by "Do as we tell you, not as we do" Government. Back will come the away-day trips to France and Belgium, up will go the profits in European owned super markets and tabacs, down will go the profits in the UK owned supermarkets and corner shops. One would think that this Government is deliberately trying to see just how far we will go before we rise up, stand them all against a wall and call them non-racial, non-homophobic, non-sexist, non-ageist, non-political, names!

DerekP said...

"... ministers try to reduce what they say is irresponsible drinking."

Close down all the bars and restaurants in the HoC and HoL (saving the public purse the subsidies they get), and force all these shits to make all the expenses they claim public (and no expenses allowed for alcohol, to set us all an example).

microdave said...

"Special deals which encourage shoppers to buy in bulk should be outlawed"

Does this mean that BOGOF promotions fo other items will now also be banned?

johnd2008 said...

So does this mean MPs will have to pay full price for everything when restocking their cellars?