Labour’s $2 a standard drink policy

July 3rd, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Charles Chauvel announced:

  is seeking to toughen up the Government’s proposed law reform by proposing amendments to allow for minimum prices to be set and to give more clout to local government when licensing decisions are made.

I blogged last November that Labour’s policy is to have a minimum price of $2 per standard drink.

This power, if properly exercised, will put an end to $6 bottles of wine being sold in supermarkets. 

It will put an end to not just $6 bottles of wine, but $10 ones, $12 ones and $15 ones. Labour would make it illegal for a bottle of wine to be sold for less than $16.

I prefer measures that target problem drinkers, not those who sock hundreds of thousands of responsible drinkers also.

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152 Responses to “Labour’s $2 a standard drink policy”

  1. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Yippee! Time to dust off the still and the wine kit…..do these busybody idiots never learn?

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  2. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    What does it matter to delicate Charlie Chauvel? He drinks only very expensive Chardonnay.

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  3. mara (786 comments) says:

    Chauvel should know that kids do not preload on supermarket wine. What planet does he live on?

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  4. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Not cool!

    RRM’s wine buying policy is to seek out the $18-$22 bottles that are on special at $10-$12.

    It is wonderful living in a country that makes decent wine at an economical price. :-D

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  5. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    I HATE these simplistic ‘solutions’ as they gain a power of their own among the unthinking thanks to Labour’s cheap sloganeering. I still resent paying more for sherry because of Anderton’s moronic response.
    Our problem with drinking is not the price. It’s our behaviour. In the 60’s we got drunk and high – yet booze was much more expensive then, especially for hard-up students but we still managed to get plastered.
    Most of us grow out of binges apart from infrequent episodes. Until we all show getting drunk is socially unacceptable things won’t change very much.

    I suspect that once we get rid of human beings altogether, we will be able to cut all our hospital, police, prison and school costs.

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  6. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    I hate these socialist arseholes – and that is all they are. I drink fuck all. Maybe 2-3 drinks a week. But I still want to buy my vino cheap as I can for the quality I am prepared to drink. There is never enough control over other people’s lives that will satisfy these power hungry tin-pot wannabee dictators.

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  7. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Mara – Chauvel should know that kids preload on nasty 3l casks.
    I hate to think how many standard drinks are in one of those…?

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  8. immigant (950 comments) says:

    They shoudl ban the selling of shit alcohol made from dairy industry biproducts, that would improve things.

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  9. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    Is it any wonder that Labour lag in the polls if this is the best they can do.

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  10. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    Dicks

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  11. MT_Tinman (3,188 comments) says:

    Correct the kid’s non-existent problems by targeting the old and the poor.

    Typical left wing absurdism!

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  12. David Farrar (1,897 comments) says:

    The Wine Society often ring me up and offer me really nice wines that are normally $22 a bottle for $10 or $11 each. It’s ridiculous that this would be outlawed by Labour.

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  13. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    It’s nice of you to declare a conflict of interest on this issue, pity you didn’t declare that interest at the beginning of the post.

    [DPF: Are you always this stupid? Seriously, this might be your most moronic comment ever. Being a consumer is not a conflict of interest. It's like saying one has a conflict of interest talking about food prices, because you well eat food]

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  14. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    ross69,

    So buying wine on sale is a conflict of interest. Interesting world you live in…

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  15. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    well, that’s a compelling reason not to vote for Labour.

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  16. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    LMAO, he drinks so he has a conflict of interest. Ah, good to see the moron factor alive and well.

    IMHO $6 bottles should be outlawed. Idiots who drink that shit should be saved from themselves. Its a good weeding out process, like IQ scores. If you score below 105, youre not allowed to vote. Drink cask wine, same. Buy ‘wine’ at $10 a bottle or below, take a hike.

    Watch the labour and Winnie first vote vanish…

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  17. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Labour are right in that increasing prices can decrease consumption. What I’m not clear on though is how much alcohol prices would have to increase to make a signifciant difference.

    Doubling the price would affect consumption, but it would also affect many other things – there’s a huge production and social industry assocaited with alcohol.

    It’s hard to see increasing overall prices by 10-20% making much difference, other than being a tax grab from the many to make stuff all if any difference for to heavy drinkers.

    Cutting road speeds from 120kph to 100kph can make a significant difference.

    Cutting someones’s drinking from 12 to 10 standard drinks would change what? Especially when at 8 drinkls they stop giving a stuff about how much they are spending and drinking.

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  18. flipper (4,067 comments) says:

    If you really want cheap supermrket wine try Melbourne, Vic.
    In March Woolworths and Coles were both selling South Australian cleanskin Chardonnay for $2.99 a bottle – provided one bought a six pack. Single bottles were $3.99.

    Is there any demand for minimum prices in Aust? No.

    This whole thing is a spin off from the failed abolition movement. They are pressing hard in the UK. Last I heard Cameron was telling them to stick it up their proiverbial….. In NZ it emanates from the Davies (aka Clark) school on “public health” and now run out of DPF’s old school in Dunedin

    More seriously, the Nat’s rebellion against nannie state now tentatively evident will continue apace – especially if National want a 3rd term. Give in to Chauvel/Dalzeil and their panty waist followers and it will be a case of 2 terms, finish.

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  19. MT_Tinman (3,188 comments) says:

    I’ve been disappointed with the Wine Society’s offerings of late but Vineonline offer some very drinkable wines at remarkably low prices and great service.

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  20. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    MTT, try blackmarket.co.nz if you havent already, its where I get my quaffers. Used to get my serious keepers from Rumble but the miserable old git closed up, damn I miss him :) Now it requires a weekends trip to Taupo for MTB riding and a visit to Scenic Cellars :)

    [DPF: Yes, Black Market very good also]

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  21. seanmaitland (500 comments) says:

    @ross69 – hahaha, thanks for the laugh dude!

    You can’t really be serious in saying that DPF has a conflict of interest because he also buys wine? If you are, then could you please take the giant stick out of your arse.

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  22. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > So buying wine on sale is a conflict of interest

    Presumably you’d say that putting an alcoholic in charge of a bar wasn’t a conflict.

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  23. Tauhei Notts (1,714 comments) says:

    Brian at 10.25.
    It is lovely posts like your’s that make this a wonderful site.
    Now about that five lettered phuckwit who contaminates the General debate Site; Lord have mercy on that miserable offender.

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  24. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    MTT advintige.co.nz good people.

    So if ya want a $6 red to put in the casserole its now gonna be $16? just another reason to hate those leftrad basturds!

    A lot of the wine I drink (and I drink a bit!) is reduced down to the $12 – $15 range from higher up. Stopping me drinking a decent syrah at the right price aint gonna stop a 19yr old skull a bottle of cheap chardy before going out.

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  25. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > You can’t really be serious in saying that DPF has a conflict of interest because he also buys wine

    You really haven’t thought before posting, have you.

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  26. tvb (4,423 comments) says:

    I support the price going up probably through an increase in the excise tax on alcohol. A sharp increase in the price of alcohol will moderate abuse. People who dink to get drunk will pay a lot more the moderate drinker will not suffer too much and may even drink less. And a good thing too.

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  27. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    IMHO $6 bottles should be outlawed.

    hmmokrightitis, what about cheap cooking wine? Seems a bit over the top to have to pay $18+ for a bit of red for the casserole or spag bog…

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  28. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    is this a minimum retail of $2 a std drink? so this wouldnt affect bars just bottleshops/supermarkets?

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  29. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    I can see the billboard in Sth Auckland now.

    ” Vote for Labour and your piss will cost even more than fags “

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  30. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Presumably you’d say that putting an alcoholic in charge of a bar wasn’t a conflict.

    Seriously, ross69 DOES think that buying wine constitutes a conflict of interest. Bizarre

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  31. Than (473 comments) says:

    Pete George, I’m sure increasing price does reduce consumption. The trouble is it doesn’t reduce *problem* consumption. The heavy drinkers, the ones who cause all the problems, are also the people least deterred by increases in price. Price increases cause large descreases in harmless social drinking for small decreases in alcohol harm.

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  32. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    bhudson, cooking with cheap wine is a sin against humanity. Your body is a temple, befouling it with cheap wine, or cheap cuts of meat should be illegal. Besides, I see it as my duty to leave the cheap bottles and the cheap cuts of meat so that labour voters have their fair share.

    Its gods work Im doing, you can thank me later :)

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  33. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    It’s not Labour policy though is it? The prior post merely mentioned that Lianne Dalziel would like it and none of the documents you’ve linked to have that price mentioned. Charles Chauvel’s SOP merely wants to add the provision of local authorities to be allowed to set a minimum price, not a blanket minimum price across the country. As such, your mail order wine wouldn’t be affected as it’s not sold in the region of a local authority.

    That’s how I read it anyway. I don’t think cranking the price up is the right way to approach binge drinking but Labour’s proposal isn’t as hysterical as outlined here.

    [DPF: If their spokesperson gets up in the House and ays it should be $2 a standard drink, I think you have to be pretty naive to think that will not be it. Of course they don't want people to know this, hence why Chauvel's SOP doesn't specify the level]

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  34. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    If you want a reallllly cheap glass of wine go to Argentina … very drinkable big reds for $2 nz a bottle and at bars they serve in big glasses full all the way up! none of this 140 ml pour rubbish! :-)

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  35. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    bhudson, an Attila of cooking?
    hmmokrightitis is correct: never cook with wine you wouldn’t drink by the glass.

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  36. MT_Tinman (3,188 comments) says:

    “Cheap cooking wine”?

    I would never, ever use a red wine I couldn’t enjoy drinking for cooking.

    Cooking rule No.1 – always, but always, lubricate the chef!

    hmmokrightitis, Colville, thanks, names noted and I shall look at the sites.

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  37. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    bhudson, cooking with cheap wine is a sin against humanity.

    Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. I drank the good stuff instead of eating it :-)

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  38. Fost (102 comments) says:

    @ross69

    So with your standard – if we look at it as it applies to other situations – if you have a car or use public transport – you have a conflict of interest and can’t comment on all transport issues. You breathe air, so have a conflict of interest and can’t comment on air quality.

    If DPF owned/ran a bottle store or brewery then he could be considered to have a conflict of interest, otherwise not.

    I don’t drink, won’t drink alcohol in any form (including not buying certain medicines for that reason) but think this is a very silly policy and do nothing to solve youth/teen binge drinking – they’ll still afford their alcohol, as they often have more disposable income than the rest of us as they don’t have to spend it on family/mortgages/food/general bills – many live at home at little or no cost.

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  39. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Going by ross69’s threshold, labour would have to declare a conflict of interest when dealing with questions on mental health.

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  40. tvb (4,423 comments) says:

    Problem drinkers are not just the chronic alcoholics. Anyone who gets drunk is a social pest and worse. They can pay a l

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  41. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    With all the negative externalities associated with obesity I await with anticipation labour’s minimum price regime for fatty foods and takeways.

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  42. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    tvb, I note your inability to finish your sentence. Drunk, perchance?

    And then, when youre done with that, define drunk please.

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  43. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    What is this, a thread full of blokes who fancy their chances as predators on drunk young women? We have a duty as adults to protect our young people, a duty at the moment we are ignoring. Instead, we are complicit in abandoning our moral duties to society and throwing our young people to a pack of wolves, who seek to exploit them for profit.
    I don’t know about David Farrar, but I hold my responsibility to my children and my neighbour’s children as worth a bit more than an extra $8 for a bottle that he is having a whinge about. Is that really what this argument is about? Is that really the sole defence that can be mounted against a minimum price? The proposition that the selfish desire of a middle age man who can well afford to pay full price to purchase bulk wine at a discount trumps the his duty of care to an entire generation of our young people? Unbelievable. Oh, I hear DPF and his echo chamber whining, “what about my rights”??? That argument might hold a bit more water if you weren’t all enthusiastically backing compulsory drug testing and social Darwinism for beneficiaries. Yeah, lets talk about “rights” now, bitches.

    It is interesting that DPF offers not a shred of a counter argument to the effectiveness of this measure., instead choosing to bleat about how put out he might be. Diddums. Alcohol is far to cheap in this country. Young people don’t have a lot of money and are very, very price sensitive. a minimum price would be a major first step in stopping the excessive pre-loading that currently goes on due to the excessive price differential between bar prices and loss leading liquor available 24×7 from supermarkets.

    [DPF: 30 demerits. If you can't debate the issue without calling people predators, then go away]

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  44. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Is ross69 really philu?

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  45. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Than – yes, you’ve explained that well. It targets the wrong consumers.

    MT_Tinman:

    I’ve been disappointed with the Wine Society’s offerings of late but Vineonline offer some very drinkable wines at remarkably low prices and great service.

    Yes, I’ve been disappointed too. I hadn’t bought from them for ages, they rang up recently trying to entice me back by offereing a ‘great deal’. The price was good, but the wine was a mediocre mix.

    What I do know is:
    – look up Countdown online to see what wines they have got on special
    – I look for wine reviews on ones I think could be worth a look
    – go and buy a single bottle (or several different bottles)
    – I drink it to try it
    – if it’s good enough I go back and but a box.

    I did this last weekend, there were plenty of wines to choose from, many at around $10 off and some two for the price of one. I found a delicious Pinot Gris and stocked up.

    I enjoy wine but most of the time drink a glass or two every two or three days on average. I have avoided getting drunk because I don’t like:
    – loss of control
    – making a dick of myself
    – hangovers

    I’ve learnt to enjoy small amounts of quality (same with food) rather than getting pissed (fat) on quantity.

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  46. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    How did Ross not get “moron demerits”

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  47. Than (473 comments) says:

    tvb, extreme statements like that only prove you have nothing useful to contribute, and are not worth listening to on this subject.

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  48. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    so this jerk off Charles Chauvel wants the minimum price of a 1125ml bottle of vodka, whiskey etc to be 80 bucks??

    it wont stop me drinking but it may put off the “west auckland man” when it comes time to vote.

    or will the left compensate them??

    next time the cost of power goes up by fuck all or some other price rise and lefties whine about the poor, just remind them how they love to jack the prices of smokes and liquor – that effects the poor more than GST on fruit or freaking electricity

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  49. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    fish boy – bludgers are free not to accept drug testing. they just go off the dole.

    can i opt out of paying $80 for a bottle of vodka?

    and you realise drug use would go through the roof right? so while you worry about some little princess having too many shots of baileys, worry more when they are hitting xtc and fucking half the football team

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  50. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    Cooking with wine.

    I challenge anyone to taste the difference between a $6 bottle and a $20 bottle once its been reduced by 75% for a sauce and has been in a casserole for 3 hours.

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  51. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    I will hand it to Chauvel tho, he really knows how to make voters hate him!

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  52. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    @RightNow
    Maybe he is David Garrett?

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  53. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    There’s nothing wrong with raising prices to discourage consumption. It’s worked very well with tobacco.

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  54. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    why are we discouraging consumption again? why do the left always have to be so negative? always punish people!

    unless they are crims, then they should do less time and get more hugs

    FUCK YOU LEFT!

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  55. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Lance, I know he’s not David Garrett because I am David Garrett.

    WRT raising the price of alcohol, I confess that I think it should be taxed more (as long as benefits and the minimum wage are in no way changed as a result).

    Having said that, I’m happy it’s Chauvel proposing it because it’ll be the Labour demographic that it affects the most.

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  56. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Colville

    Not the point. Life is way too short for such absurdity. Most recipes, bar Pot a feu’s, Coq au Vin etc , call for a glass, and the rest should end up in the chef. No way Im going to sully my temple with vin ordinaire.

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  57. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    Wrong milky. Just another case of punishing 99% of the population in a doomed attempt to bring 1% into line. Just like employment law, RMA law … It’s the default response.

    BTW, you worry about discouraging your own consumption and I’ll worry about mine thanks very much.

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  58. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    There’s nothing wrong with raising prices to discourage consumption.

    But the point is not to discourage consumption mikey, it is to discourage problematic consumption. Altogether a different thing.

    A minimum price is an extremely blunt instrument if the goal is to reduce problem drinking (and more so if it is specifically to address the issue of pre-loading.) It is akin to hiking the price of petrol by 50c a litre to discourage young people from driving and killing themselves on our roads.

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  59. wiseowl (895 comments) says:

    M&M you are wrong.Why do people like you insist that penalising everyone is the way to solve a problem.
    Something is wrong with your wiring.

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  60. MT_Tinman (3,188 comments) says:

    What hmmokrightitis said!

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  61. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    What is this, a thread full of blokes who fancy their chances as predators on drunk young women?

    Lol, if you disagree with a Labour initiative you’re effectively a sexual predator. Nice.

    Fish boy –
    No, I DON’T think I owe it to stupid young boozy slappers to pay an overinflated price for MY drinks because they haven’t learned to regulate their intake yet.

    Sorry!

    And No, I’m not a rapist / dirty old man either, thanks for asking!

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  62. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    hmmokrightitis (what a prick of a name to type!)
    I cook a lot of venison and use a lot of red in it. No way am I going to waste a full $20 bottle in a casserole. The $6 SA red goes in the cooking and the $20 red goes in the cook.
    What about fish stock? do you drop a litre of Neudorf chardy in there too?

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  63. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    I support the price going up probably through an increase in the excise tax on alcohol. A sharp increase in the price of alcohol will moderate abuse. People who dink to get drunk will pay a lot more the moderate drinker will not suffer too much and may even drink less. And a good thing too.

    Why should I suffer AT ALL because of some shite getting pissed on Courtney Place or in South Auckland? Fuck you and them. Change or use the law to hammer the crap out of drunks who cause problems. Leave the rest of us alone.

    Lance, I know he’s not David Garrett because I am David Garrett.

    No, I am David Garrett.

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  64. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    Dime used to be David Garrett.

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  65. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    fishboy –

    What is this, a thread full of blokes who fancy their chances as predators on drunk young women?

    What an arse you are. Would an increase in the cost of alcohol prevented the scene of a naked teenager running from a Labour MP’s house in Hataitai?

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  66. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Just like we have with tobacco, we will all benefit from increased prices for booze.

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  67. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    @mikenmild – If you can get your Labour MP mate to steal wine for you from a do, you don’t have to worry about the cost.

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  68. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    No, Im David Garrett. I used to be philu, but I died of embarrasment at myself. That or flogged myself into a lather and died of dehydration. I cant remember, the drugs you know. Man…

    As for fish stock colville, nothing but heads, bones and water, plus a small bunch of herbs, skim, freeze. That said, its not unusual for me to enjoy making a good stock whilst drinking a suitable white wine, yes :)

    PS, tip from my nana’s cook book for fish head soup; the eyes are delicious after a good simmer :)

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  69. tvb (4,423 comments) says:

    Drunk is when a sober person objects to a person’s loutish behaviour. Ask anyone in a and e dealing with these people.

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  70. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    PS, tip from my nana’s cook book for fish head soup; the eyes are delicious after a good simmer :)

    They may be but I will never know.

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  71. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    Just like we have with tobacco, we will all benefit from increased prices for booze.

    A totalitarian do-gooder has spoken.

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  72. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    @tvb – so use the law to make these drunks suffer some consequence to their obnoxious behaviour. Still no reason to make my lifestyle cost more.

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  73. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    tvb, you seem to be a moving target. Youve said…

    “Anyone who gets drunk is a social pest and worse” and then

    “Drunk is when a sober person objects to a person’s loutish behaviour”

    So, firstly we have ANYONE who is drunk, and then its determined by sober folk making a judgement call. I got drunk on Saturday night, had friends around, cooked, had a great time. My Mrs didnt drink, on anti-biotics, she also has a whale of a time. So, was I a social pest or worse? Or not? Please confirm. Your world view is important to me.

    Or not :)

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  74. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Make drunkenness an aggravating factor in sentencing, whenever someone is convicted of behaviour that constitutes a crime whether the perpetrator is drunk or not. Can’t handle your piss? Shouldn’t have got pissed. Dumb fuck. Have six extra months for being a dumb fuck.

    Plenty of us manage to imbibe without causing trouble. Alcohol’s not the problem, it’s sh!t behaviour that’s the problem.

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  75. Yvette (2,820 comments) says:

    A bottle of wine I have in the kitchen at the moment is 7.7 standard drinks. I assume that will not be sold for less than $15.40. It is usually about $21 but discounted at the supermarket so I paid $8. Who gets the $7.60 surcharge if it happens?

    How much will a glass of wine in a restaurant be? That may be 1.5 standard drinks, so $3.00 minimum, but who can buy a glass of wine for less than that. So by the glass no change?

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  76. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Yvette, I think the minimum pricing is intended to stop people ‘pre-loading’ before going to bars, so the only real effect will be on ‘off-license’ sales.

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  77. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    Wow, another 30 demerits dished out. He’s frisky today. :)

    (why didn’t you give him an extra 70 just for being an arse?)

    Smaller – good one! :)

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  78. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @rightnow

    “Having said that, I’m happy it’s Chauvel proposing it because it’ll be the Labour demographic that it affects the most.”

    I am not so sure rightnow. Most of the Labour voters aren’t net tax payers. When their cost of living goes up because of Labour-Green tax increases (Tobacco, Alcohol, ETS etc.) Labour will compensate them by increasing welfare, subsidies etc. The ones that are hit hardest are the middle income earners who don’t receive any hand-outs. By increasing taxes Labour-Green will increase their voter base as more and more former net-tax earners become dependend on hand-outs (welfare, subsidies, WWF). They will make sure that their voter base is looked after.
    A deliberate strategy or a positive (For Labour-Green-Maori-Mana) consequence?

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  79. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    WWF = WFF

    What happened to the ‘edit’?

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  80. southtop (265 comments) says:

    most towns in NZ has its issue with Friday & Saturday night drunks – pissed, vomiting and pissing in shop doorways, fighting etc. Lifting the price isnt going to make a difference to this, in fact lifting alcohol closer to drug prices may be good for drug dealers.
    What would make a difference is consequences – you get pissed and cause problems you give up rights e.g. all clothing removed and placed in an outdoor cage for minimum of 24 hours or stocks? No need for courts and unpaid fines just consequences!

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  81. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    Chain gang.

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  82. Yvette (2,820 comments) says:

    Yvette, I think the minimum pricing is intended to stop people ‘pre-loading’ before going to bars, so the only real effect will be on ‘off-license’ sales.

    OK, now I look at Chauvel’s paper and it is aimed at ‘pre-loading’.
    So it will impact little old ladies, having to pay twice at the supermarket what they do now to get a bottle of wine, while the kids give up ‘pre-loading’ – foreplay which will become too expensive – and just get on with the main aim of becoming shit-face on drink which will probably remain unchanged in price, a little high, but will be more appealing then than ‘pre-loading’.
    I see now how it works.
    Cheval derrière!

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  83. jeremyn (18 comments) says:

    Oh no… that evil ‘pre-loading’! God forbid people attempt to avoid being raped on by rubbish ‘clubs’.

    I’ve long held that alcohol taxes should be based on the amount of containers of a beverage discarded near bus stops. No taxes on decent beers, and $50 a box for bourbon and coke premixes. The people who buy that rubbish seem to be price-insensitive anyway.

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  84. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Other Andy, note that I did say (immediately before what you quoted)
    “…(as long as benefits and the minimum wage are in no way changed as a result).”

    I think a major step would be to remove alcohol and tobacco from CPI calculations.

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  85. backster (2,172 comments) says:

    nRIGHTNOW………The Labour Demographic on this thread show solid support for Chauvel’s proposal, and I have no doubt that the proposal will be part of an unanounced Labour Social Change policy once they form a coalition with the Greens again.

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  86. unaha-closp (1,165 comments) says:

    Labour are promising to cut bar prices to $2.00 per drink?

    An excellent way to combat binge drinking.

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  87. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @Rightnow

    Apologies.
    Should have read further.
    That said, do you realy think that Labour-Green-Maori-Mana will not insist in raising the benefits, subsidies..etc.?
    They will make sure that their voter base will not be affected.

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  88. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    I think the idea from Chauvel is to genuinely reduce the incidence of harmful levels of drinking, which would make it counter-productive to increase benefits and minimum wage to compensate for increasing alcohol prices.
    I don’t know how much these (benefits and min wage) rose in accordance with the increase in tax on tobacco, but as I understand it alcohol and tobacco are currently included in CPI calculations, which are used to index benefits and minimum wage rises against. If Chauvel and crew really want to influence consumption they’d do well to break that link.

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  89. James Stephenson (2,180 comments) says:

    I’ve long held that alcohol taxes should be based on the amount of containers of a beverage discarded near bus stops.

    It probably correlates, but I’ve always thought that taxes should be inversely proportional to how long the product takes from production step 1 to consumer.

    Now, is it too early for a 30year old Laphroaig?

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  90. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    I buy Cleanskins from Hawkes Bay Vineyard, from Countdown at $7.99 per bottle.
    Having traced the technically unlabelled bottle to a great HB vineyard, who over produced, and rather than go at their usual $18.99 move through local Countdown.
    The Cab Sav is first class. Hope they don’t run out soon.
    Shovel is a prick – ?? I think ??

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  91. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    So, does minimum pricing actually work? Apparently so. But since when did the evidence persuade Tories?

    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.150021!/file/scotlandupdatejan2012.pdf

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  92. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    @ross69 – who is denying that minimum pricing will discourage some from drinking? Most people are opposed because they sick of arseholes punishing them with punitive taxes for the wrongs committed by other people.

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  93. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > If DPF owned/ran a bottle store or brewery then he could be considered to have a conflict of interest, otherwise not.

    Is that because he might personally benefit? As opposed to now, where he will personally benefit if the status quo remains? LMAO

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  94. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > they sick of arseholes punishing them with punitive taxes for the wrongs committed by other people.

    I’d rather not wear a seatbelt but I can understand why I wear one…

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  95. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    Now, is it too early for a 30year old Laphroaig?

    Too peaty. But what about a 21 y.o. Balvenie Port Wood? Nectar!

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  96. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    One doesn’t get taxed for wearing a seat belt. One does for NOT wearing one in the form of a ticket. You obviously support my stance of taxing those who cause problems or commit crimes while pissed, rather than those WHO DO not.

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  97. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    What he really wants is more power for local bodies who are traditionally loaded with lefty wankers, just look at the lunacy that come out of councils in the UK loaded with unreformed communists and green loonies

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  98. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    “As the minimum price threshold increases, absenteeism from work is estimated to decrease: a minimum price of 40p with discount ban is estimated to reduce days of absence from work by approximately 28,800 per annum, whereas for 50p the reduction is estimated to be 46,800…As the minimum price threshold increases, unemployment due to alcohol problems is estimated to decrease (in the model unemployment is a risk factor only for harmful drinkers). For a 40p threshold (with discount ban), 900 avoided cases of unemployment are estimated per annum; for 50p the figure is 1,500.”

    So absenteeism and unemployment go down if price goes up. I’m surprised the Right aren’t embracing this issue. Obviously they haven’t given it much thought and are too busy thinking of their own pocket. NIMBY

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  99. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > One doesn’t get taxed for wearing a seat belt

    But one wears a seat belt knowing the benefits that it brings….despite the obvious inconvenience.

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  100. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    ross69, your position is untenable and your defense arguments are getting feebler and weaker by the minute.
    Just admit defeat and stop making a complete fool of yourself.

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  101. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @Manolo

    “Just admit defeat and stop making a complete fool of yourself.”

    Too late….

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  102. Than (473 comments) says:

    ross69, banning cars would reduce the road toll to zero. Should we do that as well?

    Nobody has denied minimum pricing could reduce alcohol harm. What is disputed is whether this reduction is enough to be worth curbing people’s personal freedoms, with “enough” having different values for different people. Non-drinkers think that even a virtually zero reduction is worth it, while those who regularly indulge put the value much higher.

    In any event, this whole discussion is largely moot. A policy like this would be highly unpopular with a sizable chunk of the population, so Labour would have to ditch it (assuming it is even their policy now, which is unclear) to have any chance of being elected.

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  103. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    ross is just batshit crazy

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  104. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > What is disputed is whether this reduction is enough to be worth curbing people’s personal freedoms

    What freedoms are being curbed? Are pubs closing earlier? Are supermarkets going to stop supplying alcohol? Is the drinking age going up?

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  105. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > ross is just batshit crazy

    Thanks for that erudite contribution :)

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  106. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Make it $100 per standard drink if you are really serious about stamping out problem drinking.

    What do you reckon Ross? ;-)

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  107. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    which part of your stupid argument would you like me to address ross?

    lay it out and i will tell you why you are wrong

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  108. Than (473 comments) says:

    The right to enjoy a few drinks.

    Curbing doesn’t only mean outright banning. Increasing the cost is adding an imposition on people.

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  109. wiseowl (895 comments) says:

    ross69, anotherdimwit.

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  110. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @RRM

    Tax, the left’s solution to everything.

    As Ronald Reagan once said “If it moves, they tax it. If it keeps moving, they regulate it. And if it stops moving, they subsidize it.”

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  111. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    I’ll say it again like I did yesterday –

    Every smoker will tell you that smoking tastes disgusting and is mostly unenjoyable.I smoke.

    Drinking is the complete opposite.No one will give up drinking.

    It’s all about the tax.As always with Labour. :cool:

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  112. wiseowl (895 comments) says:

    It’s a wonder Labour don’t want to tax sex. If you over indulged they could put the tax up.

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  113. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    It’s a wonder Labour don’t want to tax sex.

    Because the Rainbow faction of the Labour Party is against it.

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  114. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    ross69 (506) Says:
    July 3rd, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    So, does minimum pricing actually work? Apparently so. But since when did the evidence persuade Tories?

    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.150021!/file/scotlandupdatejan2012.pdf

    This evidence is interesting but hardly conclusive. Like any model the accuracy of its predictions depends on the underlying assumptions. If the assumptions are garbage, the results are garbage. One of the key assumptions is how consumption data links to crime which, the report acknowledges, is highly uncertain.

    In my view it’s probably reasonable to conclude that there would be health benefits to individuals from a reduction in their consumption which would reasonably follow from some minimum pricing (assuming the minimums are not too high as to encourage the black market). But given that people already pay considerable tax on their alcoholic purchases which helps fund associated medical costs (as opposed to other excesses which are untaxed), then it is hard to justify further government intervention on that point alone. If people want to drink themselves to death then I don’t see that as the responsibility of your average drinker to pay more for their alcohol in an effort to deter alcoholics from harming themselves.

    On the other hand, crime associated with alcohol consumption does, in my view, warrant reasonable regulations to help minimize such harm. But again, it is highly uncertain how this relates to consumption and most of the estimated benefits, in terms of harm reduction, are from reduced harmful health outcomes whereas estimated reductions in crime are comparatively smaller and are spread more evenly across different types of drinkers and not confined to those who drink hazardously. This undermines the model’s calculated relationship between alcohol and crime given that the model suggests that the biggest changes in consumption occur in the hazardous drinking population.

    Simply put it is my position that the government’s role is to try and minimize harm inflicted on third parties, within reason. This report appears to show that minimum pricing is effective at increasing individual health benefits and I do not agree that it is the government’s role to regulate our personal lifestyles. In my view drinkers pay, more or less, enough in tax to justify the health expenditures, given that plenty of other unhealthy lifestyles go untaxed (e.g. there’s no KFC tax or lack of exercise tax).

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  115. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    ross69 (508) Says:
    July 3rd, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    > What is disputed is whether this reduction is enough to be worth curbing people’s personal freedoms

    What freedoms are being curbed? Are pubs closing earlier? Are supermarkets going to stop supplying alcohol? Is the drinking age going up?

    A price floor is a reduction of freedom. It means two people cannot freely negotiate a price outside of the regulation.

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  116. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    “…..But one wears a seat belt knowing the benefits that it brings….despite the obvious inconvenience…”

    Having to wear a seat belt by law is crap.

    You drive down an unlit road at night, where young males in cars, high on tetesterone, drink and peer pressure, can be a risk to your life.

    Yet down the very same unlit road on the very same night, some 18 yld girl is walking home alone from the pub after having between 0-20 drinks and after having assesed that it is safe to do so.

    Why can’t drivers assess the risks of that road also – pedestrians are allowed to?

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  117. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Harriet,

    Given that wearing a seat-belt is so insignificant an inconvenience it’s difficult to see why it is so unjust given that the government builds the roads you drive upon and pays the workers who will be scrapping you off the pavement should you go for an adventure through your front windscreen.

    Not only that but there is simply no rational reason to not put it on except forgetfulness and/or extreme laziness. In my experience if you’re nice to the officer and put it on straight away they will give you a warning.

    As for the girl who walks home the trade off is different. The alternative is perhaps an expensive taxi ride and not just two seconds of pull and click.

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  118. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    “and not just two seconds of pull and click.”

    And there we go, back to philu again.

    Im sorry, my bad :)

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  119. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    @hmmok, I run a small fine wine shop in Welly in Victoria Street. You might recognise some of the furniture ex-rumbles (tho the fridge blew up only a couple months after getting it from him!). We are looking at bringing in some of the old favs that he used to stock, (eg- we have some of the Coto de Hayas stuff on tasting all of this week, its good and still cheap too). I keep in contact with Peter regularly as he is looking to import some euro for us shopkeeps who are still in the game. Let me know if you want me to be in touch.

    I have strong opinions on the liquor trade but mindful of that I have a major conflict of interest selling the stuff.

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  120. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    WineOh, excellent, got a web address for us to salivate over?

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  121. swan (665 comments) says:

    MM
    “Just like we have with tobacco, we will all benefit from increased prices for booze.”

    God you really believe in the collective don’t you? Smokers paying $16 a pack have likely not benefitted much. Unless you believe it is better for a person to be poor.

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  122. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    The effect of the increased price on consumption should make the average smoker better off, yes.

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  123. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    The effect of the increased price on consumption should make the average smoker better off, yes.

    This poor guy lives on a different planet and dimension altogether. Yes, that’s blind Labour Party socialism for the rest of us.
    Pathetic.

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  124. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    Website is still a work in progress… and doesn’t have txn capabilities. Phase 2 development heh!
    http://www.wineseeker.co.nz

    We try to champion the smaller boutique NZ providers but also balance that with some good stuff from overseas. Planning a french food & wine degustation event. Here’s the blog entry on the spanish equivalent that we did recently: http://wineseekernz.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/vino-espanol-y-tapas-degustacion-6/

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  125. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Manolo struggles with the concept that price changes affect demand, I see.

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  126. Than (473 comments) says:

    mikenmild, you appear to struggle with the concept of addiction and price inelasticity.

    Smokers are addicted. The price (and health consequence) is already high enough that almost all smokers do want to quit. Increase the price all you want, they’ll still want to quit… but most will still be unable to. And for those people (predominantly low-wage) all that is achieved is to increase their financial burden.

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  127. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Than
    You really feel that the steady rise in excise tax has played no role in reducing the incidence of smoking?

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  128. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Studies do confirm that the relationship between smoking rates and tax is actually very elastic.

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  129. Than (473 comments) says:

    mikenmild, it has a role, and I do support keeping the price of cigarettes up to a degree.

    But it is a tradeoff. Increase the price, sure a small number of smokers will quit. The rest (a large majority) will suffer the higher price. Eventually, and I think we are at or close to that point already, the financial stress placed on low-income families becomes a greater social harm than the smokers who would otherwise have quit.

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  130. swan (665 comments) says:

    mikenmild (4,749) Says:
    July 3rd, 2012 at 6:20 pm
    The effect of the increased price on consumption should make the average smoker better off, yes.

    Ha, my point exactly. The average smoker does not equal every smoker. That is unless you are a collectivist.

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  131. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Both of those points are perfectly valid. If we are talking about policy measures to reduce the widespread harm from tobacco, alcohol and other substances, price control is still a powerful tool.

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  132. swan (665 comments) says:

    So we won’t all benefit then will we. Some people (actually probably the majority of existing smokers, not that that should make a difference) will suffer as a result. Why do you favor utilitarianism over individual liberty mm? If it was for the greater good, would you be happy to be burnt at the stake?

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  133. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    We all benefit to the extent that harm caused by susbstance abuse is reduced.

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  134. swan (665 comments) says:

    Seriously, you are a filthy collectivist mm.

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  135. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I shower every day. I’m not sure why ‘collectivist’ should be a term of abuse though. Are we not all social animals? Do we not live in families, communities, societies?

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  136. swan (665 comments) says:

    Good lord mm. Heard of the 20th century? I suggest you read a history book.

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  137. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Feel free to reject any policy founded on the basis of acting in the interests of a whole community then. I’m not asking you to join the communist party, I’m just stating the fairly obvious fact that increasing taxes on alcohol will tend to reduce the harm caused by abuse of that particular drug.

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  138. swan (665 comments) says:

    That’s fine. But you are going further than that. You are denying the very existence of individuals who are disadvantaged by such a policy. That is a dangerous philosophy.

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  139. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Where did I deny the existence of any individual? All I said was that everyone benefits from higher taxes on dangerous drugs. Yes, even the addicts themselves.

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  140. Than (473 comments) says:

    swan, mikenmild has done no such thing. He didn’t mention individuals disadvantaged in his posts. But I did a couple of times, and his responses implicitly accepted that such people exist. He certainly never denied they exist.

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  141. swan (665 comments) says:

    Than, he did when he said that everyone benefits. If everyone benefits then noone is disadvantaged. Hence he is denying the existence of disadvantaged individuals.

    mikenmild (4,761) Says:
    July 3rd, 2012 at 8:13 pm
    Where did I deny the existence of any individual? All I said was that everyone benefits from higher taxes on dangerous drugs. Yes, even the addicts themselves.

    How does making someone pay a greater share of tax benefit them? If you believe that then I suggest YOU do yourself a big favor and write a cheque to swan. It will do you a world of good.

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  142. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Mmmmm.. Mac’s Hop Rocker at home in the evening after work; $1.67. Yum.
    1.3 standard drinks so with the Labour/Mikenmild tax it would cost me $2.60.

    Why? Because some other people can’t behave themselves on the turps.

    Never thought I’d hear myself say this… but go away socialists. Just – go away. I will never vote for this.

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  143. Grant (444 comments) says:

    Welcome to the dark side RRM….. We’ve got biscuits.
    G

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  144. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    swan
    The main benefit the addict derives from a higher price is the deterrent effect. I suppose one could also argue that he or she is also paying a higher share towards meeting the social cost of the addiction

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  145. swan (665 comments) says:

    mikenmild (4,767) Says:
    July 3rd, 2012 at 8:56 pm
    swan
    The main benefit the addict derives from a higher price is the deterrent effect. I suppose one could also argue that he or she is also paying a higher share towards meeting the social cost of the addiction

    Again that makes no sense except to a collectivist. If the individual is still smoking (as most are) they have not been deterred!

    When you say a higher share, you mean by going from paying 300% to 400%? That’s pretty disgusting of mm. Hardcore collectivism followed by a faint, fraudulent, appeal to economics. Do you sleep at night?

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  146. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Sorry for not living in your perfect, but imaginary, world of personal freedom and responsibility.

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  147. OneTrack (3,107 comments) says:

    mikenmild – sorry for not living in your communist nirvana. Not yet anyway. I know you and the team are working on it. What’s next -minimum prices for Big Macs?

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  148. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    big Macs at $2 per serve?

    mmmmm!!! Mmmm!!

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  149. Jim (398 comments) says:

    Actually mikenmild has a fair point. I have no problem with consumption taxes (which is what this effectively is) and find them more logical than income taxes. Tax things that you want to discourage: a sensible way to operate if you must tax anything.

    In this case it is unusual that a left-leaning party would propose such an idea. It will have far more effect on their voter base than it will on the generally more affluent (which probably are not so left-leaning).

    The public health aspect is also positive.

    I doubt that the party would ever want to be connected with making it law though. It will go the way of the emissions standards on used imports mulled in the mid 2000’s (which would have ruled out cheap guzzlers for the masses).

    [disclaimer: I like my drink, and I find I'm drinking a lot more since moving to a country with significantly reduced alcohol tax than the place I lived for the past 10 years. That's probably a lot more to do with the overall drinking culture - but that goes hand-in-hand with the tax as far as I can see]

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  150. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    That is unless you are a collectivist.

    And he is. 100% Labour Party socialist.

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  151. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    ‘Labour Party socialist’
    Nice oxymoron to begin with this morning.

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  152. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    John Banks has come out against forcing minimum prices up.

    Minimum alcohol price penalises everyone

    ACT Leader John Banks today urged Opposition Parties to dismiss Labour’s Alcohol Law Reform Bill SOP which would introduce a provision for a minimum price for alcohol.

    “Labour’s SOP is far too broad. Rather than target those who drink excessively, it punishes the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who drink responsibly,” Mr Banks said.

    “Under Labour’s policy, buying a relatively cheap bottle of wine to go with dinner would be a thing of the past.

    “And because a minimum price is not a tax, all the additional revenue from a price increase will flow straight out of consumers’ pockets, into the hands of liquor companies and retailers.

    “So who is this policy going to benefit? Not the Government, who would receive no additional revenue, not the majority of responsible New Zealanders who would have to fork out more for a drink and it is least likely to impact on problem drinkers, who are the least responsive to price increases. The main beneficiary of Labour’s policy will be the those in the alcohol industry.

    “We do have an issue of problem drinking in New Zealand. But punishing everyone is not the way to go about solving it.

    “A minimum price on alcohol will penalise responsible drinkers and is a policy that should be dismissed,” Mr Banks said.

    I agree. Note – another NOT sitting on the fence.

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