NDP's 'beer bomb' designed to edge out independent liquor stores

    $155 million "liquor surcharge" payback to protect Big Labour friends

    VANCOUVER, May 1 /CNW/ - The Coalition of BC Businesses says the NDP plan
to boost liquor prices is part of a wider strategy to edge out independent
liquor stores and reward their supporters at the BCGEU by eliminating private
sector competition.
    "Sticking it to the independent liquor stores will protect Big Union jobs
at the government-run stores but it will also kill jobs in the private
sector," said John Winter, Coalition Chair. "The NDP profess to want to help
some employees with a minimum wage hike but at the same time they're giving
the backhand to hard-working employees at over 650 independent liquor stores."
    Winter said that BC can accommodate and should encourage a balance
between both government and independent liquor stores to create choice for
consumers. However, the $155 million surcharge would tip the balance in favour
of government-run stores and deliver a serious blow to independents.
    The NDP call for a $155 million "liquor surcharge" over three years,
buried on p. 54 of their 2009 Platform.
    Referring to careless comments yesterday by NDP leader Carole James and
her finance critic Doug Ralston about their plans to hike beer prices, Winter
said it shows a lack of respect for consumers and employees of independent
liquor stores.
    "It's disturbing when a potential premier and finance minister dismiss
their planned cost increases with a let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may
attitude," said Winter. "Anyone who understands business knows that $155
million in extra costs leads to higher prices, fewer jobs or both."

    The Coalition of BC Businesses speaks for organizations representing over
50,000 small and family-owned businesses active in all sectors of B.C.'s

For further information:

For further information: Victor Vrsnik, Tel: (604) 682-8366

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