Monday, December 24, 2012

The consequences of not using joined up thinking...

The government may or may not put up the minimum price of alcohol, Cameron seems to favour it, though he seems to have a problem convincing his EU masters that it somehow doesn't breach their rules. However the consequences of driving up the price of a product that many of us legally enjoy is now being felt by those who sell it...
UK tax authorities are not doing enough to tackle alcohol duty fraud, claims a leading off-licence chain.
Bargain Booze told the BBC that the number of stores telling HM Revenue and Customs that they face illegal competition is rising.
Last year HMRC received over 600 reports to its tax hotline relating to alcohol fraud.
The Revenue said it acted on every piece of intelligence, but admitted investigations could take years.
The government has given HMRC £17m to tackle the gangs behind the fraud.
The obvious solution is of course to reduce the price of duty to make it not worth the illegal traders time, but governments never think that way, their solution is always regulation and enforcement, aka jobs for the boys.
What they won't do is tackle the actual problem of people who go out and get blotto, nor even study as to why it's happening, possibly because they suspect the problem is actually them and that people will drink themselves into oblivion to try and forget all the shit that the government and life has foisted upon them. Perhaps is the government would butt out of our lives or improve our way of life and standards of living (pipedream I know) then they wouldn't have people getting so concerned over drunken behaviour. As it is we have laws which can deal with drunken behaviour, though too few police to deal with them and no social mechanisms in place to control it, mostly due to state interference in peoples lives by restricting the ways we can deal with law breaking and lawbreakers. That's why ordinary people end up getting arrested whilst criminals get away with it essentially, we don't know the rules, they do.
Still for as long as the government believe that putting the price up on anything that we enjoy then there will be those in the criminal fraternity that will provide those services at a much cheaper price (though not necessarily the quality) than the legal commodity.
It's called market forces, something no politician (or bureaucrat) really understands as they so rarely have to deal with the folly or consequences of their actions, except to put it on expenses.

6 annotations:

banned said...

There is said to be a bloke in my city who delivers ilicit booze to your door. Sadly the chap who told me had deleted him from his 'phone because he was calling him too often.

James Higham said...

As it is we have laws which can deal with drunken behaviour, though too few police to deal with them and no social mechanisms in place to control it,

There it is.

Merry Christmas too, QM.

Anonymous said...

Too few police but amazingly never enough tax officers. My local town just received a jobs boost - yep, they're recruiting in excess of a hundred more (just locally - jobs for the girls? So much for 'austerity' and cut-backs!).

Anonymous said...

Regarding the problems caused by rowdy public drunkenness, there really is no excuse for that going on. It's against the law to be drunk and disorderly in the public domain, What's more, the police know exactly where and when they will find a whole load of folk being drunk and disorderly. They don't need to do any police work beyond scooping them up off the street, and chucking them into the drunk tank.

Anonymous said...

Stonyground says:

I brewed fifteen gallons of good beer for the Xmas period. Forget smuggling, alcohol is really easy to make at home.

delcatto said...

Home brew ready here as well although I bought in some cheap but good quality beers as well. "Still" and all... the govt. will repeat the mistakes of prohibition USA as the righteous prodnoses edge us ever closer to their desired end game.
Steve Earle has a good song about this.