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Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Hit me baby one more time

Does anyone else find this logic, well, a bit Irish?

MICHAEL O'SHEA

OPINION: Better efforts to tackle tobacco crime would mean more money for schools and healthcare

God knows, we’ve been aware of the scale of this crisis for long enough. Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan has himself described it as an “epidemic”. And his department admits the exchequer is losing more than €300 million each year from illegal sales – more than a mere drop in the ocean of our deficit. The tobacco industry put that figure at €556 million which, ironically, would almost cover total cutbacks mooted for the health service.
It's a travesty, to be sure, to be sure. All those smokers detracting from government coffers by buying cheaper fags from elsewhere due to the high cost at their local shop. Something has to be done, right so.

And what is Michael's solution?

Further increasing tobacco tax would have the double effect of raising revenue and ensuring a healthier nation. We estimate that a €1 increase in tobacco tax would reduce smoking rates by at least four points from the Eurostat figure and yield an extra €200 million annually to the exchequer.
Not sure he really gets this economics thing, does he?

At least other anti-smoking measures have been highly successful though, eh?

This is starkly demonstrated in the latest Eurostat figures which put smoking prevalence here at 31 per cent – four percentage points away from a place in the world’s top 10 tobacco-consuming nations.

This is scarcely credible given Ireland’s role as a world leader in enforcing important aspects of tobacco control policy, such as our high tobacco tax environment and the workplace smoking ban.
You forgot the tobacco advertising ban, Michael.

Of course, there is a way of reclaiming all that lost income and halting the renewed interest in tobacco - a respect for smokers and appreciation of human nature might be a start - but you can just ignore it and keep slamming your head into that brick wall if you prefer.

Your choice.

4 comments:

TheBigYin said...

If, say, a film star in America baulks at paying extra taxes and claims that they would not stop her smoking and does not curtail anyone elses smoking habit and staunchly defends smokers then I wonder how O'Shea would take to Whoopi Goldberg?

Smoking Hot said...

Can you buy cigarettes from shops in lreland? As l understand it, the lrish people have banned that trade so children don't see cigarettes for sale and thus not be tempted to buy such products.

As smoking is not illegal, traders now come to you courtesy of a network of the spoken word (as tobacco advertising is banned too by the people).

Also, the lrish people try to get across the health issues to everyone by making the health warnings on tobacco available in numerous foreign languages. l understand that there has been a problem at the printers for quite a while as health warnings are not currently available in english ... and won't be for the foreseeable future.

The traders are implementing a policy of zero tax on tobacco products so the Irish Treasury can adapt to the day when tobacco is banned in Ireland.

l note that these approaches are welcomed by the lrish people and it has not gone unnoticed by the people in the UK who are now following suit. The only problem seems to be with the printers again ... english health warnings are rare.

There has been no quotes from either government but one assumes they are greatly encouraged to see their citizens self-regulating themselves.

Anonymous said...

Its not surprising the anti smoking hysteria ban brigade chose The Republic for a total indoor ban test case ,they knew the irish would roll over and cower into
submission . Lets face it they have had enough practice this past
thousand years.Within a generation
of getting their freedom they're
back to grovelling in the gutter
again.


Non Crawling Celt.

Leg-iron said...

So... he thinks smokers are not paying enough towards a health service that will refuse to treat them?

As it is, NI is not just demanding money with menaces. It's a fraudulent demand because the NHS I'm paying for will refuse to treat me because I smoke.

And O'Shea thinks I should pay in even more?

Nope.

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