Let's pick on the poor with a floor price for alcohol

I had an article in the Australian Spectator arguing that the West Australians implementations of a floor price on alcohol is another unnecessary tax on poorer Australians, and will not work:

The Western Australian government this week announced a proposal to apply a floor price to takeaway alcohol, another ingenious idea to create even more inequality between the rich and the poor, as well as hurting law-abiding citizens for the actions of a minority.

As any economics student will tell you, as prices increase through higher taxes, demand will fall. But the issue is, we’re not dealing with an ordinary commodity here. For problem drinkers – those this policy is allegedly designed to help – alcohol is a form of escapism, a dependency. For these problem drinkers, the price floor won’t stop them drinking, it will only make it more difficult to make purchases on necessities, paving the way for even more societal issues within the community. This regulation will only hurt law-abiding moderate drinkers and will have little effect on the problem drinkers, which is the opposite effect the government is trying to achieve.

What happens when problem drinkers can’t afford their booze? Go without? Not likely.

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