Labour is supporting Geoffry Palmer's attacks on alcohol consumption, in particular, a tax hike.
Increasing tax on alcohol was about making those who buy alcohol pay for the harm it does, Ms Dalziel said, and there needed to be debate about whether this was the right option.
As previously stated, the use of alcohol is not evil in and of itself. Ms Dalziel's reasoning may seem sound at first glance but why not apply it to food and cars.
Let's hike the tax on food to pay for the harm it does to over-eaters; let's hike the tax on cars to pay for the harm caused by bad drivers. In fact let's hike the tax on cars to pay for the damage drink drivers do. After all it was the car as much as the alcohol that 'caused' the crash.
The problem is people and how they behave. The alcohol, the car, the gun, the cigarette, the food, etc., etc., are all incidental. The more we spread the burden of bad behaviour consequences, the more people will indulge in it.
Here is something else to think about. The tax on cigarettes far exceeds the cost of treating smoking-related health problems. Smokers are a cash cow. More than 70 percent of the retail price of cigarettes is tax. A lot higher than the tax on alcohol. Under Labour's desired option, are users of alcohol going to be the next one?
Samizdata quote of the day
4 hours ago