Prices soar thanks to the government's ravenous desire for our cash and the urging of the Church of Public Health to ban everything that gives pleasure (because pleasure is addictive). And the consequence is that the criminals arrive:
As shoppers prepare to stock up on alcohol to celebrate the festive season, Essex County Council's Trading Standards team is warning that bottles of counterfeit spirits, particularly vodkas are in circulation.
This won't only be in Essex - across the UK enterprising criminals are gaming the gap between the cost of production (or the price of purchase overseas) and the tax-inflated prices in Britain's shops. And the bigger the gap, the bigger the margins for the criminal and the greater the temptation to break the law.
The consequence, of course, is that stuff like this happens:
The illicit substances were tested and it was found the vodka was in fact industrial alcohol and contained a chemical commonly used in bleach, as well as xylene and toluene – two compounds found in paint stripper and dangerous for human consumption.
You see the criminals don't care. They're not bothered if they poison you or make you blind. Nor are these entrepreneurs fussed at all about selling fags and booze to children. And as the nannying fussbucketry continues, as the duty on booze and fags rises, the problem will get worse. Just look at Ireland:
Customs officials have smashed a major smuggling gang and seized nine million cigarettes.
Four men were being quizzed over the massive seizure following the intelligence led operation involving officers from Revenue’s Customs Service, in conjunction with CAB and Gardai.
This bust has an estimated potential loss to revenue of €3.7 million and estimated street value of €4.3 million.
Of course some people continue to pretend that all this isn't a problem - denying that approach a quarter of the tobacco consumed in ireland is smuggled (because the data comes from the tobacco companies).
It seems wrong that adherents to the Church of Public Health are happy to see people poisoned, blinded or killed and for criminals to make millions from smuggling and manufacturing fakes rather than admit their approach isn't working.