Liquor stores should not be privatized

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Editor:

A few days ago, some newspapers in Saskatchewan displayed the following headline. “In future liquor stores will be private.” It follows that the profits from liquor sales will also be private.

Feb. 21, 2009, the Regina Leader Post reported the profits from liquor sales at that time were $173 million per year. With an increasing population, I expect profits could now be near $200 million per year.

What a missed opportunity. My guess would be Saskatchewan could go some distance down the road to eliminating those degrading food banks with the $200 million. Could it be Premier Wall would rather see a few unionized liquor store employees lose their jobs (Unionized employees are a pet peeve for Premier Wall).

It is not too late to do the right thing rather than stuffing those millions into the pockets of those that are doing well as it is.

Henry Neufeld - Waldeck

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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  • Doug
    April 14, 2013 - 13:44

    The gov isn't going to loose any money as they are going to set the price. The private liquor stores will buy and sell liquor for the same price as the gov stores. At the end of the year the private store will pay taxes to the gov on there profit. The problem is that Brad Wall doesn't like unions and wants to get out of paying union wages and benifits and pensions. You don't see Brad cutting any of his cabinet to help reduce the cost to the province.

  • Gary Peters
    February 24, 2013 - 07:18

    Dan, I think your logic leaves something to be desired. Do you reallt think the province will benefit if the liquor stores are privatized? They will have to contibute the taxes on liquor that are in place now but are they REALLY going to contibute enough to make up the 200 million shortfall in the revenue now produced in profits? Conservatives like you and Mr. Wall have a very simplistic approach thinking that somehow the trickle down effect will produce massive revenues for the Actually, I think you are content knowing that the profits have been shifted to your friends instead!

  • skeptic
    February 20, 2013 - 10:21

    Dan, this is a profitable enterprise for the government. Partially because of a limited number of high volume stores. We don't need private companies competing, as they will be less efficient. Yes, the government will still get taxes with privatization, but now, in addition to taxes, Saskatchewan enjoys between $170 and $200 million per year in profit. Wall is all about off setting provincial deficits with Crown profits. Otherwise, it means inflated heating or electricity or insurance costs. Here, it means alcohol. We don't need it. That's $200 million saving in potential tax. And if we privatize? Just means some private guy, who will not add anything to society, will be divying up that $200 million, instead of it going back to the taxpayer! Kind of like when Regina was allowed ONE private liquor store, or Swift's Casino. No competition. License to print money. Except, the tax payer isn't benefiting. Might as well put the $200 million to the province's bottom line.

  • dan
    February 17, 2013 - 18:42

    The government is going to make the tax money off booze regardless.They will also tax the profits of the private ventures.So why buy a bunch of expensive infrastructure and stock it with expensive labour? You should be a politician Henry.The NDP is in need of outdated logic.

  • skeptic
    February 16, 2013 - 20:56

    Surprising Wall would consider selling liquor stores, as that leaves one less profitable Crown he can take "dividends" from to pretend to balance the budget!

  • jursi
    February 12, 2013 - 19:10

    I agree, why would the Sask Party give away a money making venture? What real benefit does society gain by having private liquore stores? I'd argue they should add selling smokes in Saskatchewan only at liquor stores, as decreased prevalence will help to curb a Saskatchewan only spike in youth smoking. And the profits can be pumped back into health care, to cover the MI's and strokes they'll get in 20 to 30 years!