Beer drinking uncles still in high spirits

Has the increase in liquor tax affected regular drinkers? SPH Razor finds out. 

"Eat, drink and be merry" seems to be the motto for these food centre patrons.

Even news of liquor tax going up by 25 per cent per litre of alcohol content did not dampen their spirits.

"Everybody drinks beer to relax themselves. After a hard day's work, we relax ourselves," said a regular drinker SPH Razor spoke to. 

"We'll still drink because we don't have a choice," another man said. 

"If we don't drink, our engine cannot function."

"Everything will turn out fine eventually," said a more optimistic bespectacled man. 

While he was optimistic about the higher alcohol prices, his drinking companion was not. "I'm not very happy. All of a sudden the price has increased, but what can we do? We can't stop drinking, and we can't drink more."

With the higher tax, the finance ministry calculated that consumers can expect to pay between 20 cents to 70 cents more for a can or bottle of beer, assuming that retailers did not take the opportunity to mark up the prices.

But these regular drinkers say that they are already paying 60 cents to 90 cents more.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Trade and Industry warned businesses against profiteering from the increase in liquor taxes and urged consumers to walk away from unreasonable pricing.

"What the government has said is said," another regular drinker said. 

"If our pay rises, we can drink. If not, we'll drink less. In the past I drank two bottles, now I drink half a bottle," he added.

Another man, who likened drinking to smoking, said: "We cannot blame the price increase only ourselves for wanting to drink."

"It's just like a smoker, he doesn't have to smoke after a price increase. A knife wasn't held at their throats."

The lady boss just came to us and said "You must come and support me." He revealed his group's alcohol consumption levels: "Today we drank about 24 bottles, and two cans. On weekends, if there is a big group, we can drink more tan three crates, which is 36 bottles."

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