Labour’s Nannying Drink Pricing Policy Leaves Bitter Taste in the Mouth

Pour one out for Mark Drakeford, new research shows his alcohol pricing policy – lifted straight from the Sturgeon playbook – has completely fizzled out. Despite promising that minimum alcohol pricing would save taxpayer money and reduce alcohol admissions and deaths, the opposite has happened. There have been more alcohol deaths in every year since the policy was introduced in 2019…

As if spirits weren’t already low enough, Labour pressed ahead with the costly policy, only hitting Welsh pockets harder during a cost-of-living crisis. Welsh Shadow Minister for Health, Russell George MS, said:

“The latest data about the effects of minimum unit alcohol pricing backs up claims that this failed Labour policy hasn’t worked. The purpose of minimum alcohol unit pricing was to save the taxpayer money but most importantly protect the general public from alcohol related abuse. Sadly, the number of people dying from alcohol related deaths has increased each year since the policy was introduced… The increasing number of stories about the negative effects of minimum unit alcohol pricing proves that Labour was wrong to ignore the laws of unintended consequences when they passed this law in Wales.”

Alcohol related issues cost the NHS £159 million per year…

mdi-timer 12 June 2023 @ 16:03 12 Jun 2023 @ 16:03 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Britain’s Nanny State Meddles More as Both Parties Plot Further Nannying

The annual Nanny State Index has found that the United Kingdom’s government is meddling more in people’s lives. The ranking, compiled today by the IEA and European Policy Information Centre, puts the UK as the 11th worst country in Europe – up one place since last year. The UK’s position is mitigated by the fact it has, with Ireland, the most liberal policies on e-cigarettes in Europe – currently. Speaking of which, Rishi Sunak just announced a new vaping crackdown.

The UK has the second most restrictive food and drink restrictions in Europe – thanks to a sugar tax and advertising regulations – whilst tobacco restrictions are the worst in the continent. This is only set to get worse, as both major parties remain committed to nannying policies…

Overall, Turkey, Norway and Lithuania top the list as the most meddling nations in Europe. Meanwhile, Germany is the most liberal, followed by Czechia and Italy.

Despite the rapid growth in regulations, there is little evidence that paternalistic policies are effective:

There is no correlation between stricter drinking, eating, smoking, and vaping regulations and higher life expectancy.

Christopher Snowdon, the report’s author and Head of Lifestyle Economics at the IEA, said:

“With the UK introducing some of the world’s most nannying policies on food, it’s no surprise to see it rising up the league table against stiff competition. The UK scores poorly in every category except e-cigarettes where it is the best in show… With alcohol taxes rising sharply this year and more food regulation to come, things will only get worse.”

Maybe just let adults make decisions for themselves…

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Truss Begins Work on Scrapping Nannying Junk Food Tax

Despite politics shutting down for a fortnight, it appears Liz is already powering on with fulfilling her campaign policy of scrapping Boris’s out-of-character junk food tax. During the leadership race, Liz promised to halt the ban on buy-one-get-one-free promotions and deals on junk food if she became PM. This morning we learn Liz, Kwasi and Coffey have ordered a Treasury review of the evidence around the obesity policy, which could also lead to ditching calorie counts on menus. It may even look at the 2018 sugar tax…

Guido understands the policy is being spun in two ways: both as an anti-government interference, anti-red tape policy; and a policy to alleviate the cost of living in light of the unprecedented global economic situation. The move would also kill off dead large swathes of Henry Dimbleby’s – the government food tsar’s – 2021 call for a £3bn sugar and salt tax levy.  A reminder that Dimbleby’s own fast food chain Leon is more calorific than McDonald’s…

By all accounts The Guardian’s civil service sources are both “aghast” and angry at the move, despite it being an overt leadership election promise by Liz. One source told their health policy editor, with dripping disappointment, that “There doesn’t seem to be any appetite from Thérèse for nanny state stuff.” Guido’s almost surprised to see the paper not mention that her victory drinks last week were held at the offices of Deliveroo, implying some sort of dark lobbying victory. After the big-state splurge of Liz’s energy policy, it’s reassuring to see her making good on her other ideologically-driven promises…

mdi-timer 14 September 2022 @ 08:44 14 Sep 2022 @ 08:44 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Drakeford’s a Latte-Day Stalin

When Guido reported eight days ago that Mark Drakeford was planning to ban the sale of energy drinks to teenagers on the absurd ground they are a ‘gateway’ to smoking and drinking, he thought we’d reached the high water mark of absurd statist abuses of devolved power. Drakeford disagreed; Guido has deja brew…

Today the Welsh Government has confirmed it is “considering banning the sale of tea and coffee to under-16s as part of plans to make young people healthier and stop rising obesity rates”. Given 100 grams of tea contains a whopping single calorie, Guido cannot see any justification for the policy…

Even the statist GP talking head Dr Amir Khan responded to plans on GMB on Friday morning, spilling the beans by saying “There is no real evidence for long-term damage from caffeine in tea and coffee so let us be proportionate – a ban is probably not necessary.” As public health policies go, this one’s as effective as a chocolate teapot…

Guido can think of another reason why Wales has an increasing youth obesity crisis, and it has far more to do with the recent policies of lockdown-loving, teapot dictator Drakeford than an occasional teen trip to Costa. It’s time for Drakeford to wake up and smell the coffee…

mdi-timer 28 June 2022 @ 17:00 28 Jun 2022 @ 17:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Nannying Welsh Government Declares Energy Drinks to be Gateway Drug

During the local elections last year, Keir Starmer hailed the Welsh Labour government, under Mark Drakeford, as “incredible”, and an example of how things can be run “differently and better” without a Tory government. Well, checking in with the People’s Soviet of Wales we are currently seeing a classic example of that “better” leadership, as they plan on banning the sale of energy drinks to children on the basis consumption acts as a gateway to “alcohol and tobacco use”. As well as, somehow, school exclusions…

Responding to a question by Tory leader Andrew R.T. Davies about the assessment they’d made about the policy’s affect on personal freedoms, minister Lynne Neagle wrote:

“Our approach to the consultation which was launched on 9 June and runs until 1 September is evidence based. It has been shown that children who drink energy drinks on five or more days per week were most likely to have low psychological, physical, educational and overall wellbeing. In turn, this can cause headaches, sleep problems, increased alcohol and tobacco use, irritability, and school exclusion. We want to protect the health and wellbeing of our population and to take the necessary measures to protect our children and young people

Detailed consideration is given to all Welsh Ministers’ statutory obligations including those under the Human Rights Act. Of course, as the policy is developed, further analysis will undertake including the impact of the policy on the rights of those affected.

Guido would warn Drakeford of the unintended consequences: for a country that allows 14-year-olds to register to vote, how on earth will they be able to engage with a Drakeford speech without the help of high-sugar, high-caffeine drinks?

mdi-timer 20 June 2022 @ 16:04 20 Jun 2022 @ 16:04 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Robert Jenrick Criticises Snack Tax Plans As Food Tsar Insists They Could Save the NHS

Following Guido’s story yesterday that Boris’s food tsar Henry Dimbleby is proposing huge taxes on foods high in sugar and salt (plans which would cost every household an estimated £172 every year), Robert Jenrick made this morning’s media round to push back on the proposals and insist that they are not government policy – yet. Speaking on LBC, Jenrick said:

“Well that isn’t the government’s policy… I think you have to be very cautious before putting burdens on members of the public, particularly those on lower incomes. That’s my long-standing view…  going to consider it carefully, and set out our national food strategy in the coming months…I think you do have to be very careful about going down that road, because I don’t want to make life more difficult for people on low incomes.”

Dimbleby himself also gave an interview this morning, appearing on the Today programme to defend the plans and once again insist that they’re necessary to protect the NHS:

“The junk food cycle is, we think, the thing that is causing the harm…we do not actually believe [the taxes] will hike the price. What it will do is it will reformulate, it will make people take sugar and salt out…there may be some products that you can’t reformulate…the question you have to ask then is: ‘is the freedom to keep Frosties cheap worth destroying the NHS for?'”

UPDATE: Boris has also come out against the snack tax plans during his levelling up speech, saying:

“I’m not, I must say, attracted to the idea of extra taxes on hard-working people. Let me just signal that.”

A much clearer statement than the rest of that speech…

mdi-timer 15 July 2021 @ 08:58 15 Jul 2021 @ 08:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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