The Sunday Telegraph reports today that Darling is proposing to massively increase the tax on spirits, particularly whisky, gin and vodka. This is designed to appease the health lobby and show that ministers are serious about tackling the problems caused by binge drinking.
It is suggested that a bottle of A bottle of Bells whisky could rise from £14.79 to £23.73 while Gordon's gin would increase from £12.79 to £21.17. Note that there is no suggestion of any increase in the tax on beer, which is, of course, the main drink of working class Labour voters.
As I have a double whisky most nights before bed, and Mrs EP is partial to more than an occasional G&T, this is going to cause major budgetary problems in EP's household. Clearly an increase in the number of European or Irish holidays will be called for.
As you can bring back enough drinks for your personal use, I wonder what the attitude will be at our Customs. My double each night is a nominal 50ml (provided I don't pour with a too heavy hand!) so a litre bottle will last me 20 days. So 10 bottles would last me six months or so. Has anyone got any ideas as to whether I'd get away with that number as it looks as if I'll be changing from Famous Grouse to Jameson's!
18 minutes ago