NDP Platform to raise the Price of Beer

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Al Czervic
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NDP Platform to raise the Price of Beer

Post by Al Czervic »

Here is a real vote getter all for a payoff to the NDP's big Union buddies....


The Six-Pack Attack
By Michael Smyth 04-30-2009 Victoria's Secrets

Lots of reaction to my column today on the potential for rising beer prices under an NDP government.

Some readers wondered about the private-liquor lobby's claim that a six pack of suds would jump by three dollars at private liquor stores if the NDP wins the election and jacks up private liquor wholesale prices as promised.

The calculation is the combined impact of the wholesale price increase plus the NDP's promised 25-per-cent increase in the minimum wage. The Alliance of Beverage Licensees of B.C. argues many private liquor stores are attached to pubs, which would be disproportionately walloped by the minumum-wage increase to $10 an hour.

"There is no doubt that the combined impact would be the price of beer would have to go up and we estimate it would be three dollars for a six pack," Alliance executive director Kim Haakstad tells me.

But even if you think the private liquor stores are exaggerating things, it's impossible to believe that what the NDP is proposing would not lead to higher private booze prices.

Just go to page 54 of the NDP policy platform:

http://www.bcndp.ca/files/u108/BCNDP09_ ... _last3.pdf

Notice under the heading "New Revenue" there is the ambiguously named line item "Standardize liquor surcharge" followed by three years of projected new revenues to government totalling $155 million.

Now I ask you: How the hell can you hammer the private liquor stores for $155 million in additional costs and not expect the price of their products to go up?

The NDP hated my column today, by the way, because any suggestion they will hike beer prices (especially in the playoffs) could be politically deadly. That's why they said the private liquor stores have the choice to simply absorb the additional costs without passing them on to consumers! Tell me another fairy tale.

(It's also why they tried to hide this policy in the first place, with a fuzzy line item on the second-last page of their platform.)

Lastly, is there any doubt this policy is a brazen payoff to the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union, which represents workers in government liquor stores? The BCGEU has been gunning for the non-union private stores for years.

And guess what job NDP president Jeff Fox had in a previous life? BCGEU Director of Organizing!

The BCGEU, by the way, has donated $433,164 to the NDP since 2005. Cheers!

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steven lloyd
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Re: NDP Platform to raise the Price of Beer

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Oh well, I always try to support the government liquor stores first anyway since the profits come back to us - the taxpayers.

:130:
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Re: NDP Platform to raise the Price of Beer

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steven lloyd wrote:Oh well, I always try to support the government liquor stores first anyway since the profits come back to us - the taxpayers.

:130:


That's the spirit! (Not to mention, yet another example of a publicly owned service providing revenue to British Columbians!) :sunshine:
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Al Czervic
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Re: NDP Platform to raise the Price of Beer

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steven lloyd wrote:Oh well, I always try to support the government liquor stores first anyway since the profits come back to us - the taxpayers.

:130:


This is typical of the thinking of the NDP. In reality it is the resale of alcohol from the BC LDB where profit is made.

If you understand business; and in particular retail you have COG…Cost of Goods Sold. In the case of a “Public” liquor store; the cost of rent; overhead; store improvements; union labor _+ benefits; utilities; common area charges; point of sale devices; software; phone systems; etc;etc all of these are costs that come out of the sales income before you have a net profit.

In the case of a Private liquor store the BC LDB simply pays a commission (discount) to Private liquor store operators who in turn must cover all of the above expenses. The commissions paid to a Private liquor store operator is significantly lower than what the costs are to sell through a “Public” liquor store.

This is why profits for the BC Liquor distribution branch have significantly increased since there are fewer Government stores (where it is more expensive to sell alcohol) and more Private stores (where the costs to the BC LDB are much lower) this actually means more net profit. The public wins but the BCGEU looses; hence why they have bought off the NDP with almost $500,000 in donations to the party with this platform policy.
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steven lloyd
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Re: NDP Platform to raise the Price of Beer

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Al Czervic wrote:
steven lloyd wrote:Oh well, I always try to support the government liquor stores first anyway since the profits come back to us - the taxpayers.

:130:


This is typical of the thinking of the NDP.


Me too.

Al Czervic wrote: This is why profits for the BC Liquor distribution branch have significantly increased ... this actually means more net profit. The public wins ...


Like I said, that's great. :130:

(I may be a BCGEU member, but I'm not a union rah-rah type of guy)
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Re: NDP Platform to raise the Price of Beer

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If it was up to me, cigarettes and beer prices would double.

And I'm not even an NDP supporter.
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Re: NDP Platform to raise the Price of Beer

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usquebaugh wrote:
steven lloyd wrote:Oh well, I always try to support the government liquor stores first anyway since the profits come back to us - the taxpayers.

:130:


That's the spirit! (Not to mention, yet another example of a publicly owned service providing revenue to British Columbians!) :sunshine:

You really have no idea of the difference between the public and private sectors, do you?
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Re: NDP Platform to raise the Price of Beer

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If I were voting STV style I would give my NDP dead last, but the opposition to this particular NDP policy is ridiculous.

It WILL NOT increase the price in government liquor stores.
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Re: NDP Platform to raise the Price of Beer

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Glacier wrote:If I were voting STV style I would give my NDP dead last, but the opposition to this particular NDP policy is ridiculous.

It WILL NOT increase the price in government liquor stores.


Beer and Wine stores are small business that can re-resell BC LDB marked up alcohol for far less money than it takes to sell the same goods in a Government run Liquor Store. As a result the profits to BC taxpayers are much higher because it is far cheaper to pay a private store to sell our massively marked up booze than can be done in a Union run Government store.

All the NDP is doing here is attacking the small business owners and that will force them to rise the prices of beer and make them less competitive against the less efficient Union run Government Stores.

Basically this amount to a Union Subsidy tax. Penalize the Private re-sellers so the less efficient Union run government stores have a better chance of competing.

I don’t know what you do for a living Glacier but how would you feel if your income was going to be almost cut in half simply because you did not belong to a Government Sector Unions?

If the NDP would like to raise liquor prices across the board; so be it. But to penalize Private operators solely to benefit their friends in Union movement is an 18th century labour policy at best; or a political award to the BCGEU at worst for years of padding the NDP coffers.
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Re: NDP Platform to raise the Price of Beer

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Al, I am not that familiar with how liquor pricing is achieved. If you are correct about the NDP proping up their union buddies that is wrong for sure, but how do they determine how much of discount the private facilities get? What level is fair? How is the current 16% arrived at?


http://www.cbc.ca/canada/bcvotes2009/st ... rices.html

It would also put the private retailers on the same footing as rural grocery stores that sell beer and wine under a different licensing system, allowing all retailers to set their own prices equally, she said.


James has also promised to cut the discount operators of B.C.'s private beer and wine retailers get when they buy alcohol wholesale from the government — from 16 per cent to 10 per cent below the retail price.


Haaksead said she believes the NDP would like to drive private retailers out of business altogether so it could open up more government liquor stores staffed by union employees.

B.C. Liberal Leader Gordon Campbell, whose government opened up the retail liquor industry in B.C to private businesses, said the current system is working fine as it is.

"I think actually what we have is a good balanced system that is going to move forward. We have to continue to encourage economic activity," said Campbell.
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Re: NDP Platform to raise the Price of Beer

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Glacier wrote:Al, I am not that familiar with how liquor pricing is achieved. If you are correct about the NDP proping up their union buddies that is wrong for sure, but how do they determine how much of discount the private facilities get? What level is fair? How is the current 16% arrived at?


Here is an excellent article on this from Michael Smyth and the Province newspaper from yesterday. Michael Smyth answers some of the questions you are asking as well...


NDP is desperate: Campaign beer brawl - Vancouver Province.com - May 2, 2009

By Mike Smyth

Thursday's column on private-store beer prices has sparked a virtual bar brawl on the campaign trail:

The Liberals claim the NDP promise to increase private-liquor-store wholesale costs would trigger beer-price increases (which I agree with) while the NDP says the private stores would play nice and simply absorb the $155 million in new costs and not pass them on to their customers.

I doubt the New Democrats themselves really believe the private liquor stores would do this. What you are seeing is a desperate sell-job of an ill-conceived policy that's going cost them a lot of votes.

Now the NDP is getting desperate. They issued a news release yesterday that is either grossly inaccurate at best or a blatant lie at worst.

The news release says this: "The Campbell Liberals have raised the discount on wholesale alcohol purchases given to private liquor stores to 16 per cent. That means private liquor stores pay 16 per cent less for alcohol than the government-run BC Liquor Stores."

That is absolutely wrong. Private liquor stores DO NOT pay "16 per cent less for alcohol than the government-run BC Liquor stores." In fact, the private stores pay 16-per-cent less than THE RETAIL PRICE charged to the public at government liquor stores.

The government buys its liquor at MUCH LOWER wholesale prices and adds a huge retail markup of up to 163 per cent on its products.

In other words, the government buys its liquor at much lower wholesale prices than the private stores, not the other way around as the NDP claims in its news release. I have pointed this out to the party, but I have received no response and the news release is still up on the NDP website.

Meanwhile, as many readers of both the column and blog have pointed out, the B.C. liquor business is one of the most politically mobbed-up rackets around.

I pointed out in an earlier posting that the BCGEU, the union that represents workers at government liquor stores, has donated $433,164 to the NDP since 2005 and the president of the NDP, Jeff Fox, is the former director of organizing for the union.

On the flip side: The Alliance of Beverage Licensees of B.C., which represents the private liquor stores, gave $77,947 to the Liberals since 2005 and the organization's executive director, Kim Haakstad, once worked for former Liberal cabient minister Christy Clark as her ministerial assistant.

That doesn't excuse the NDP from putting out false information. I await their correction.



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Re: NDP Platform to raise the Price of Beer

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Al Czervic wrote:
Glacier wrote:Al, I am not that familiar with how liquor pricing is achieved. If you are correct about the NDP proping up their union buddies that is wrong for sure, but how do they determine how much of discount the private facilities get? What level is fair? How is the current 16% arrived at?


Here is an excellent article on this from Michael Smyth and the Province newspaper from yesterday. Michael Smyth answers some of the questions you are asking as well...


NDP is desperate: Campaign beer brawl - Vancouver Province.com - May 2, 2009

By Mike Smyth

Thursday's column on private-store beer prices has sparked a virtual bar brawl on the campaign trail:

The Liberals claim the NDP promise to increase private-liquor-store wholesale costs would trigger beer-price increases (which I agree with) while the NDP says the private stores would play nice and simply absorb the $155 million in new costs and not pass them on to their customers.

I doubt the New Democrats themselves really believe the private liquor stores would do this. What you are seeing is a desperate sell-job of an ill-conceived policy that's going cost them a lot of votes.

Now the NDP is getting desperate. They issued a news release yesterday that is either grossly inaccurate at best or a blatant lie at worst.

The news release says this: "The Campbell Liberals have raised the discount on wholesale alcohol purchases given to private liquor stores to 16 per cent. That means private liquor stores pay 16 per cent less for alcohol than the government-run BC Liquor Stores."

That is absolutely wrong. Private liquor stores DO NOT pay "16 per cent less for alcohol than the government-run BC Liquor stores." In fact, the private stores pay 16-per-cent less than THE RETAIL PRICE charged to the public at government liquor stores.

The government buys its liquor at MUCH LOWER wholesale prices and adds a huge retail markup of up to 163 per cent on its products.

In other words, the government buys its liquor at much lower wholesale prices than the private stores, not the other way around as the NDP claims in its news release. I have pointed this out to the party, but I have received no response and the news release is still up on the NDP website.

Meanwhile, as many readers of both the column and blog have pointed out, the B.C. liquor business is one of the most politically mobbed-up rackets around.

I pointed out in an earlier posting that the BCGEU, the union that represents workers at government liquor stores, has donated $433,164 to the NDP since 2005 and the president of the NDP, Jeff Fox, is the former director of organizing for the union.

On the flip side: The Alliance of Beverage Licensees of B.C., which represents the private liquor stores, gave $77,947 to the Liberals since 2005 and the organization's executive director, Kim Haakstad, once worked for former Liberal cabient minister Christy Clark as her ministerial assistant.

That doesn't excuse the NDP from putting out false information. I await their correction.




Thanks for your informative postings. You have to ask how a party would behave in power when they so effortlessly resort to lying when in opposition.
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Re: NDP Platform to raise the Price of Beer

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I think what is most troubling is that aside from the blatant lies from the NDP; this NDP Policy is solely to benefit the BCGEU Union and screws everyone else.

Putting the Public sector Union interests ahead of the Public interest is the same kind of crap that the NDP did in the 1990’s.

Clearly the NDP has not learned a thing from the 1990’s.
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Re: NDP Platform to raise the Price of Beer

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Here is an update from Michael Smyth on what has occured since he caught the NDP in this lie...

UPDATE: At 2 p.m. today, I received a voice mail from the NDP acknowledging the information in the press release is in fact wrong and apologizing for the "confusion." But the original release has not been corrected and is still up on the party's website.

UPDATE # 2: At 3:24 p.m., the NDP sent out a Twitter message pointing readers to the still-uncorrected news release containing the bogus information.

UPDATE #3: It is 4:45 p.m. and the press release has now been corrected on the web site, with no explanation or acknowledgement of the original misinformation.



I think what is also alarming is that the NDP not only lie to the general public they also like to lie to their own supporters. It’s much like those negative TV ads they run where they try to hide the NDP logo from the public.
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Re: NDP Platform to raise the Price of Beer

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Al Czervic wrote:I think what is most troubling is that aside from the blatant lies from the NDP; this NDP Policy is solely to benefit the BCGEU Union and screws everyone else.

Putting the Public sector Union interests ahead of the Public interest is the same kind of crap that the NDP did in the 1990’s.

Clearly the NDP has not learned a thing from the 1990’s.


True Al, but the bigger question here is whether the people of BC learned anything by the crap they pulled in the 90's that ultimately ended in 2001 with the NDP's near extermination. You may recall that the election left them with 2 seats (77 - 2), even her own party members were so disgusted with what happened they jumped ship and did what was "right".

Carol has fashioned her party into a clone that brought this province to it's knees and almost sucked the last breath out of it. More important though this time Carol is promising to kick start her socialist agenda by sucking $3.0 Billion out of the economy in a recession. It's too bad that the news that deficit spending doesn't work can't be broadcast to her lower intestine so that it could reach her head. The "ordinary families" and the "children" of this province will pay for decades for what they are about to do. We did last time.
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