26 March 2012

I Don’t Need a Nanny

So once again the budget rears it’s ugly head. 

There is usually something on there which will incense parts or most of the population.  Am fortunate enough that usually, the effects of the budget do not affect me too much. 

I travel on the bus, don’t have children and the hike up in price on alcohol and cigarettes is expected.  Not this time however.

I am aware that as a smoker, whilst not a minority, I am definately in the category of “You should know better” or “Well there go, quit then”.  The smoking ban in pubs, restaurants etc didn’t bother me.  I don’t have a problem in not smoking around non smokers.  It’s common courtesy.

37p a packet extra on cigarettes though?  That has taken the biscuit for me.  George Osborne’s defence of the hike up in price is.
"Smoking remains the biggest cause of preventable illness and premature death in the UK.  There is clear evidence that increasing the cost of tobacco encourages smokers to quit and discourages young people from taking it up."
Am sorry, but that is complete and utter rubbish.  Whilst, yes of course, smoking related illnesses are preventable, for the Government to use this as a justification for raising the tax on cigarettes is ridiculous.
Smokers pay taxes, just like everyone else.  Part of that taxation goes towards the NHS.  We also pay a very high price on tax on cigarettes.  The Government get millions upon millions of pounds from smokers.  Yes of course a lot of that can be offset against smoking diseases.  But certainly not all of it.
I will not be dictated to by the Government into choosing what I can and can’t do.  Last time I checked everyone in this country still had the freedom of choice.
The Government don’t really want people to stop.  It will lose them money.  However jumping on the health bandwagon is just a useful tool in order to hike the sales tax up.   All it will do is encourage people to buy cigarettes from the black market.
In one way, I would have still be shocked and horrified that the Government had added such a large addition to the sales tax if they had simply said, it’s one way of boosting funds, getting us out of the recession.  But to hide behind the health issue, well that just adds fury to the flame.

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