Is the beer too cheap in Britain?

Apparently, some people in Britain are mad because stores are charging less for beer than they are for bottled water.

When I was in parts of Czech Republic and Poland last month, beer was always cheaper than water. And did it affect me? Well, yes, it did — but that’s because I had a hard time discerning which bottles of water were carbonated or not. There were times when I never did figure it out, and if I’m going to drink a bubbly beverage, it’s not going to be water. And you’d have to take out a small personal loan to pay for 7 ounces of Coke Light, so what am I supposed to do? Get the cheapest thing available: beer.

But some people in Britain feel differently. They’re afraid that lowering the cost will increase sales and therefor increase binge drinking. It’s hard, for the most part, to disagree with them — it makes economic sense. If you lower the cost of an item people are regularly buying, chances are they will purchase more of that product.

“Evidence from Finland also suggests a link between price and consumption. There, tax on alcohol was slashed by 40 per cent in 2003,” according to an article by This is London. “Since then, drink sales have soared 11 per cent.”

They are, however, failing to make a link between increased sales and binge drinking. Someone could be buying a bunch of the cheap beer and storing it in their basement for all the government knows. Can you assume that lower cost equals increased consumption? I, for one, welcome the cheap beer.