Can’t think of 10 good reasons for joining the European Union.
Or three good reasons, let’s face it.
But there’s one damned good reason, as you will learn from a Daily Mail report here.
Membership of the EU would stymie the efforts of wowsers and tossers – including Labour Party MPs – who support the introduction of a minimum alcohol price.
This especially includes Labour’s associate justice spokesperson, Lianne Dalziel who campaigned for a minimum price to be included in the Alcohol Law Reform Bill.
An astonishing number of Kiwis (see here) seem willing to forego the opportunity to buy bargain-price wine at their supermarket.
Most New Zealanders support the introduction of a minimum alcohol price, even if it means the end of bottles of wine below $10, according to the latest ONE News poll.
The Labour Party, along with many alcohol advisory groups and medical professionals, wants to bring in a minimum price for each unit of alcohol sold at supermarkets and liquor stores.
The policy has won the support of 54% participants in a ONE News Colmar Brunton poll, with 62% of women supporting the scheme.
Only 42% did not support the scheme, while 3% were unsure.
Dalziel obviously took huge comfort from those results.
“Well I have to be honest and say I was surprised, but pleasantly surprised,” said Dalziel.
“I think that people have finally cottoned onto the fact that we have to do more than just look at the age, we have to look at some serious interventions.”
Justice Minister Judith Collins, mercifully, continued to refuse to consider a pricing clause in the Alcohol Reform Bill.
“I think if you ask people if they want to have their $10 bottles of wine suddenly be $16 a bottle, and for the profits to go straight into the pockets of the alcohol industry, I think the answer would be something different,” said Collins.
You can put the Grumbles in that category, although Alf has no objections to the booze industry doing nicely, thank you, from their very worthy business.
But it seems Britain’s Home Office has become a haven for wowsers and tossers, too, because it has been entertaining the idea of banning the sale of alcohol for less than 45p per unit in an effort to target heavy drinkers.
As you will see from the Daily Mail report, however, the good old British boozer has the European Commission in his or her side.
The commission has warned Britain’s PM, David, Cameron that minimum pricing contravenes a praiseworthy set of trade laws.
Putting a minimum price of alcohol is illegal, the European Commission has warned David Cameron.
The nine-page letter from Brussels to the Prime Minister says the scheme would break laws governing the free movement of goods.
The average British family’s booze bill will soar by almost £100 a year under the Government’s plan for minimum pricing for alcohol.
It could be raised under EU proposals, too, of course.
But a minimum price is not the way to go.
In the leaked letter, the European Commission advised the Treasury to increase duty on alcoholic drinks if it wishes to raise the price, the Scottish Daily Mail revealed.
The do-gooders in the UK Government appears to be ignoring the legal warning and are forging ahead with their plan, claiming it will save hundreds of lives and millions of pounds of public money each year by cutting crime and health problems linked to binge drinking.
Perhaps the day will be saved by wine-producing nations such as France, Italy and Spain, which are planning to take Britain to court for breaching the EU law on free trade.
Findings by the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies strike a blow, too, by challenging the Government’s claim that the plan will target only binge drinkers.
The IFS said that while ministers are right to say the heaviest drinkers will be the most affected by price rises, there will also be an impact on moderate drinkers.
And Catherine Day, of the European Commission, explained that supermarkets would simply sell more alcohol to boost profits, and she said the plan would create ‘market distortions’.
Alf has never been keen on market distortions.