Taxing The Commotion Potion


The Commotion Potion is back in the headlines in the UK. Buckfast Tonic Wine has garnered the nickname “commotion potion” due to the fact it has been directly linked to 6,500 antisocial behavious and violence offences in the UK in the past 2 years. That’s a bucket load! It now turns out that the monks in Devon that are responsible for making this mixture of alcohol and caffeine don’t pay any taxes on their income from it as they’re a registered charity. Well that’s got quite a few knickers in a twist!

PR Firm With Their Work Cut-Out

Go ahead, do an internet search for images of Buckfast. You’ll see three things: pictures of the bottle of course, pictures of Roman Catholic priests, and a selection of utter chavs getting blind drunk on a cheap and worryingly violence-inducing bevvy. Monks and knobheads, the strangest marketing strategy I’ve ever heard of! Oh, and it’s such a problem north of the border that it’s led to both the Scottish Police and Scottish Labour Party calling for it to be banned. Some PR firm has their work cut out.

Abuse of Charity System

Now onto the tax issue. The National Secular Society have noted that Buckfast Abbey Trust, the registered charity who take in all the proceeds for sales are cleaning up on the back of this dodgy drink. It’s an “abuse of the charitable system” and question whether they “are serving God or Mamon?”

Advance Roman Catholic Religion

The Trust retorted, saying that any money that comes in aims to “advance the Roman Catholic religion”. They also fully support DrinkAware in their efforts to promote responsible drinking in the UK.

Do They Need the Money?

I have to say, these monks are struggling to convince me. The Roman Catholic Church are one of the biggest money making enterprises in the world. The £88m that Buckfast Abbey have made in the last ten years (tax free) pales in comparison to the $8bn the Vatican has in it’s accounts, and the further $1bn they hide off the balance sheet (am I allowed to say that??). They don’t need it, and in a time when the country is desperate for taxable income, profiting off getting the underclasses pissed seems a bit morally bankrupt. Even DrinkAware have refuted their claims that they support them at all.

Give The Police A Night Off

It’s not looking good is it? Why can’t they just do what every other charity does? Not sure how many marathons, bake sales, and pub quiz’s you need to run to replace that kind of income, but at least the police in Scotland might get a couple of nights off, eh?





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