High alcohol taxes ‘lead to fake drink’ says councillor30th August, 2013 by Andy Young
A local councillor in Bradford has hit out at the government saying that high taxes on alcohol are causing an increase in the amount of fake booze that is produced.
Councillor Simon Cooke spoke out after 656 litres of fake spirits were seized in the city.
Councillor Cooke told the Bradford Telegraph and Argus: “It’s the biggest seizure yet of fake vodka by Trading Standards in West Yorkshire.
“This is the consequence of government action. It makes such illegal arbitrage worth the risk. At £2 a shot, that’s over fifty grand. Or, in terms of tax avoided, it’s about six grand.
“Eventually people start dodging those taxes and the results are dangerous.
“The more we load onto duty, the more of this we’ll see and the more we’ll read of people poisoned by isopropanol, tertiary butanol and chloroform, none of which should be in vodka.
“This won’t be the lesson from this event – the tip of an illegal spirits iceberg. Our lords and masters will carry on piling the tax onto booze in the interests of ‘health’.”
The number of fake alcohol investigations by local authorities have increased for each of the last three years, and earlier this year two brothers in the UK were jailed after trying to avoid paying £4.7 million in alcohol duty.