Friday, 23 March 2012
Why attack this man's small pleasure?
There we are in the checkout queue at Morrisons. Ahead of us is an elderly gentleman with a small basket of goods – a pack of bacon, a couple of small tins, some apples and a couple of cans of beer. All this grocery was taken from the shelf filled with goods being cleared out and hugely discounted.
The beer? That was at 45p a can – well under the proposed minimum price. Somehow, I don’t think this elderly man was going to “pre-load” himself before heading out on the town to create mayhem and disorder! He’s much more likely to be a poor pensioner who, once a week, buys a couple of cans to drink while watching racing on the telly.
Yet, minimum pricing will target him – he will pay extra. Or more likely, buy just the one can. How exactly does making this man pay more help anyone, save any life or reduce any crime? What benefit does society get from making this man’s life just a little more expensive, just a little less pleasant? I can see none but with minimum prices that is what we get.