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Scott Thompson: Doug Ford’s ‘Buck-a-Beer’ doesn’t really lower the price

Click to play video: 'Premier Doug Ford: Buck a beer is back in Ontario' Premier Doug Ford: Buck a beer is back in Ontario
Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the provincial government's buck a beer plan Tuesday morning while visiting a brewery in Picton, Ont – Aug 7, 2018

It’s summer, it’s hot, and everybody is thirsty for something.

So when Doug Ford announced he was bringing back buck-a-beer to Ontario during the last provincial election campaign, suds lovers were foaming at the mouth.

READ MORE: ‘Buck-a-beer’ coming to Ontario in time for Labour Day

However, the days of a Lakeport Brewery and an economy that could support it have long moved on as costs have simply gone up on something that was popularly possible a decade ago, but not now. Quite the opposite, in fact. Craft beer is the largest growing segment of the industry and it’s traditionally more expensive to produce and purchase.

READ MORE: Here’s how much it costs to make a can of craft beer

The problem with Ford’s buck-a-beer promotion is it does nothing to lower the price of beer for you.

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What it does is lower the price The Beer Store can legally charge you for a beer to a dollar from the current minimum of $1.25.

The issue is, no brewer is selling at that price now ($1.25) because they can’t afford to with high production costs. So how can they afford to sell for 25 cents lower per unit?

This is why brewers are not dancing on their kegs at this scheme.

READ MORE: Napanee craft brewer says buck-a-beer benefits large, multinational breweries

If Premier Doug Ford really wants to lower the astronomical price Ontarians pay for all alcohol, lower the tax they grab from us: 59 per cent per beer bottle, 70 per cent per can.

After all, wasn’t this about keeping government out of your wallet?

The premier is asking the brewers to lower their take while the Ontario government increases theirs with plans of yet another tax increase on booze come November.

This reminds me of the good, old-fashioned Kathleen Wynne electricity shell game, only with bottles and cans.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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