LCBO prefers that only rich people abuse alcohol

LCBO prefers that only rich people abuse alcohol

Nanny state: the LCBO knows best (Image: Derek Purdy)

When the HST comes into effect on July 1, dry cleaning and plumber calls will be more expensive, while books and diapers will cost the same. But one of the few items that was expected to drop in price—booze—is actually going up. According to the Star, the price hike is a reality, despite the fact that alcohol taxes are falling from their present 17 per cent to the HST’s 13.

For example, a 750 millilitre bottle of Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon, a popular Australian red wine that currently retails for $16.35, should be dropping in price to $15.80 thanks to the HST.

However, sources say the retail price will jump to $16.45—only a dime more than it is now, but 65 cents higher than it needs to be.

Similarly, the HST should lower the price of a 750 millilitre bottle of Pelee Island VQA Chardonnay, an Ontario white, from $17.95 to $17.35. Instead, it will go up to $18.05. That’s 70 cents in lost savings to wine drinkers.

The LCBO justifies the increase by saying that it has to keep prices high because of its “social responsibility”—in other words, so that Ontarians don’t all become alcoholics when liquor becomes five per cent cheaper.

Who knew that we were that close?

• HST will lower tax on booze, but the price is going up [Toronto Star]
• What’s taxable under the HST and what’s not? [Government of Ontario—PDF]