Minimum Unit Pricing

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Re: Minimum Unit Pricing

Postby joe92 » 01 May 2018, 11:33

Generally speaking I'm against stealth taxes and pro regular taxes. I believe that revenue for a country should be raised primarily through income tax and inheritance tax and the other stealth taxes such as VAT, beer duty and fuel duty - the taxes that mainly affect the regular persons day to day spending - should be kept to a minimum. I don't think income tax and definitely not inheritance tax are big enough in the UK (but would only encourage increasing them if the stealth taxes were reduced). The spare bedroom tax is an abominably evil tax, but a spare house tax would be completely fair and would lead to greater mobility in the housing market. Sin taxes are themselves sins, and if you want to encourage people to spend less on vices then you should spend more time improving the quality of life for the poorest in society and less time inventing new ways to hurt their wallet - which ironically only leads to a further deteriorated mental health and greater chance of ending up on the vices. If the quality of life is good then the level of abuse goes down. I would bet my entire life savings that you will find a direct correlation between abuse of vices (alcohol, drugs, whatever) and the spending power of the person abusing it.

It comes down to mental health. It's very hard not to pick up the bottle when everything about your life is shit already. When you can't turn the heating on in the evening anymore because the energy cartels have increased utility bills by 5.5%. When you're isolated and alone because the cost of public transport is so great that you cannot afford to visit your friends or family. When you have to make the decision between feeding yourself for the day or heating yourself for the day. When you are in a constant state of stress worrying about money this and money that. Increasing the cost of alcohol isn't going to deter these people from drinking. They are trapped in a viscous cycle that's going ever downwards. Making it even worse for them isn't going to convince them to stop. They need the social and mental support to get them out of the cycle, and they need real prospects and purpose in life to keep them out.

Rather than making alcohol more expensive for the 99% of sensible consumers, it would be far better if money was invested into mental health, social support and education. That would see a very real and positive change in society.

As to the question of where the money could come from. How about the £167 billion waste of money called Trident. A nuclear submarine with a lifetime of 30 years (ohhhh, look at us, we have a nuke). Over £5 billion a year being wasted on a submarine that we're never going to use which could instead be used to help people. What's the most infuriating thing about that is that the NHS deficit is about £2 billion. Less than half a years spending on Trident would wipe that out. We have such a twisted sense of priorities when it comes to spending.
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Re: Minimum Unit Pricing

Postby Pootleflump » 01 May 2018, 16:37

Well said Joe.

The impact Universal Credit is having on the mental health of our most vulnerable folks....... :^(

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41487126
But, I nearly forgot, you must close your eyes otherwise you won't see anything

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Re: Minimum Unit Pricing

Postby AardvarkArmy » 11 Jul 2018, 00:02

Pootleflump wrote:The extra money being levied is not going into support services or being used to mitigate the causes or consequences. It's being levied from those who can't afford it and being given STRAIGHT TO THE RETAILERS


California in USA has taken two measures with similar public health motivations, but apparently better implementation:

1) A very high tax on cigarettes, much of which is then funneled into anti-smoking public service television ads. I must say, the ads that I see are often extremely powerful and effective

2) More recently, a tax on sugar-saturated beverages (Coke, Pepsi, etc) with at least some of the proceeds of the taxes targeted to childhood obesity programs, etc.
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Re: Minimum Unit Pricing

Postby Jegpeg » 11 Jul 2018, 02:01

AardvarkArmy wrote:
Pootleflump wrote:The extra money being levied is not going into support services or being used to mitigate the causes or consequences. It's being levied from those who can't afford it and being given STRAIGHT TO THE RETAILERS


California in USA has taken two measures with similar public health motivations, but apparently better implementation:

1) A very high tax on cigarettes, much of which is then funneled into anti-smoking public service television ads. I must say, the ads that I see are often extremely powerful and effective

2) More recently, a tax on sugar-saturated beverages (Coke, Pepsi, etc) with at least some of the proceeds of the taxes targeted to childhood obesity programs, etc.



The UK is already there I don't know the California tax but UK tax on 20 cigarettes is £5.20 (about $8). If fact one of the problems is that the tax is not EU wide, but there is free movement of goods across the EU so people will fill a van with cigarettes in Poland or somewhere and bring them to the UK. (In reality it is illegal to import more than could be used for personal consumption so while common in that van is stopped they could be charged but you would probably get away with bring in 5000 claiming you smoke 20 a day and have got a few months supply while you were abroad).

The UK has also recently brought in a tax on high sugar drinks, many (but by no means all) manufacturers have reduced there sugar content in response to avoid the tax.

By the way in the US are there issues with illegal sales of cigarettes where people buy cigarettes in say Idaho (or wherever it is cheap) and then take them to California to sell on the black market.
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