New private liquor stores siphon profits from families and communities

Research shows that Alberta has lost $1.5 billion in tax revenue since it privatized liquor stores in 1993.

Regina (02 May 2013) – Today’s announcement that the Saskatchewan government will license four new private liquor stores is bad news for taxpayers and families who benefit from profits from public liquor sales, according to the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE).

Liquor sales support public services

“Profits from Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority stores help fund schools, hospitals, roads, long-term care homes, parks, public safety, and much more,” says SGEU President Bob Bymoen. “Public liquor sales have turned a big profit for Saskatchewan people – over $1 billion since 2007.”

“Four new public stores in urban centres with rapidly growing populations would have brought in tens of millions of dollars every year,” says Bymoen. “Instead, this money will be siphoned off to business and corporate interests. How is the government going to make up for that loss of public revenue?”

Lost provincial revenue through private liquor sales

Research shows that Alberta has lost $1.5 billion in tax revenue since it privatized liquor stores in 1993. “These reckless privatizations are not in the best interests of Saskatchewan people,” according to Bymoen.

“Alcohol causes social harm, and it makes sense that governments should use revenue generated by liquor sales to help offset increased costs – to our health, policing and criminal justice systems,” Bymoen says.

“Saskatchewan's public liquor stores run very efficiently. Store operating costs are only 11 per cent of store sales. This means maximum profits for Saskatchewan people from SLGA stores. There’s just no good reason to hand liquor sales – and profits – over to private businesses and corporate interests,” he says.

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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