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16-08-2012, 09:14
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It’s reported that the Office of Fair Trading has expressed reservations (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9475601/Plans-to-outlaw-cheap-alcohol-will-backfire-says-watchdog.html) about the potential unintended consequences of the Government’s policy of minimum alcohol pricing. By increasing producers’ and retailers’ margins, it will make alcohol sales more lucrative and thus actually provide more of an incentive to promote alcoholic drinks – something I have pointed out before. It will also set a precedent for the extension of the principle to other sectors, so we will have the perverse situation of the authorities shedding crocodile tears about poverty while at the same time making a substantial proportion of poor people’s real-world shopping baskets dearer.
Of course, the EU competition authorities are still to pronounce on the legality of the scheme – there’s still a long way to go on this one.

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