Punishment for Its Own Sake

Let us suppose for a moment that Referees in football matches got bonuses for every card, whether yellow or red, that they produced. That would not be punishment for its own sake – it would be punishment for financial gain.

But let us look at the promoters of Alcohol Prohibition in the USA around the 1920s. They were driven by religion. Wickedness was all around. But it is also true that Big Money had an interest. A 100% sober workforce was better than a 99% sober workforce. The 1% difference meant millions of dollars in revenue and profits.

We can see how punishment can work to achieve objectives. Massive taxes on tobacco, alcohol and petrol can only be justified by wickedness. Wickedness is easy to justify regarding tobacco and alcohol; but what is the justification for the wickedness of petrol? I can only think that petrol was once-upon-a-time thought of as a luxury, when the general method of moving around was by steam train.

Cutting the whole thing short, it seems to me that tobacco, alcohol and petrol duties are very, very ‘yesterday’. A person who does not smoke, does not drink and uses public transport, evades his fair share of taxes. That is not right.

Oddly enough, it is the petrol taxes which are the stupidest. They may have had some justification decades ago when riding around in motor cars was a luxury, as compared with cycling, walking, running and riding horses. But wait! That difference is not justification. It was never justification. The imposition of excessive petrol taxes was always POLITICAL. It was based upon the fifty-year old idea that having a private car was a luxury.

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What ought to happen is that tax on tobacco, alcohol, petrol ought to be reduced to the same level as any other product. In that way, everyone, whether drinker, smoker, driver or whatever would pay their fair share of national costs. For too long, drinkers, smokers and drivers have supported the puritans. The puritans must pay their fair share.

Duties must be abolished. They make no sense in the modern world. They are discriminatory. They unfairly bash the poorest people. For that reason also, they are racist.

Tobacco products, alcohol products and petrol products should have no supercharge and should be subject to VAT, just like any other product.

Where can The State recover income from if such duties were abolished? That’s easy. It does not need to. It just cuts costs, especially junk costs such as tobacco control.

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Tobacco Control, world-wide, is a punishment orientated organisation. There is nothing of ’empathy’ with nicotine addicts about it. The Zealots claim that smokers are nicotine addicts, but they act as though smokers are criminals.

It is ASH ET AL who are the criminals. They steal and waste public funds.

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7 Responses to “Punishment for Its Own Sake”

  1. Samuel Says:

    What exactly, in regards to taxes, is a “fair share”? What percentage of what I own, of what I have worked for and earned, is automatically the property of government and the assorted parasites attached to its teats? If there is any percentage that can be justified at what level, once the precedent has been established, does that percentage stop? 1%? 2? 5? 50%? Or 100%? Should I only surrender my property earned this year or should I be required, at my further expense of course, to calculate the full value of everything I already owned and already paid a tax on and pay more taxes? Should a “fair share” be a fixed sum, an equal amount of currency, paid by every tax slave under a government’s thumb or should it be a percentage so that the “wealthy” are robbed of more than the “poor”.

  2. elenamitchell Says:

    It seems to me that they super tax everything they think the poor can’t do without. The rich don’t care. It’ll be food when we’ve all given up smoking, drinking and driving, but we are doing that already in some measure, to fund our feckless habits, so that won’t work either because we’ll all get really ill and won’t be able to work at all. Then they’ll have to give us Benefits. But it’ll save a few bob on Pensions.

  3. Timothy Goodacre Says:

    Totally agree with you ! I am fed up with paying 80% tax in tobacco and being lectured by these Zealots. I’m not surprised people buy abroad or smuggle. Good luck to them. Tobacco tax needs abolishing !

  4. Tony Says:

    Actually, the real rate of tax on tobacco is an eye watering 800%.

    That may sound strange so I’ll explain. If something costs £1 with no tax and it then gets taxed at 20%(e.g. VAT) then it will cost £1.20. A packet of cigarettes would cost somewhere under £1 before tax but actually costs around £8 after tax. That’s a 700+% tax rate and apparently the true figure is around 800%.

    • smokingscot Says:

      You’re close to bang on. It costs $1.40 for a pack of Marlboro in Belarus including sales tax. That equates to about 95 pence. Marlboro is considered a premium brand, so is vastly more expensive than the local favourite called Fest. Those can be had over the counter for about 90 cents (about 60 pence).

      The export price for Fest is roughly 50 cents a pack depending on quantity.

      http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Belarus

      (the ciggie entry’s last under “markets”)

      I’ll give that the cost of doing business in the UK is substantially higher than Belarus, so your figure of 800% tax stacks up well.

      (You’ll be familiar with the trick they use here that 80 to 85% of the price of a pack of fags is tax).

  5. beobrigitte Says:

    What ought to happen is that tax on tobacco, alcohol, petrol ought to be reduced to the same level as any other product. In that way, everyone, whether drinker, smoker, driver or whatever would pay their fair share of national costs. For too long, drinkers, smokers and drivers have supported the puritans. The puritans must pay their fair share.

    Not only are we smokers keeping the puritans, in return they expect us to pay for our persecution.

    If something costs £1 with no tax and it then gets taxed at 20%(e.g. VAT) then it will cost £1.20. A packet of cigarettes would cost somewhere under £1 before tax but actually costs around £8 after tax. That’s a 700+% tax rate and apparently the true figure is around 800%.
    Actually, the real rate of tax on tobacco is an eye watering 800%.

    This is roughly what only a couple of weeks ago explained to my friends in Germany on my visit there. 50g of cheap tobacco costs there 4.55 Euros. My friends complain about the rise of 20 cent this year….

  6. junican Says:

    Jolly good comments,everyone.
    I don’t mind paying my ‘fair share’ of taxes. Pavements have to be maintained and we all walk on them, rich or poor, as goes with most other services. It is the inequities which get up my nose. Are we not all supposed to be ‘equal’ these days? If that is so, why are smokers, drinkers, etc, singled out for punishment? And it is punishment. ‘Sin’ taxes are not called by that name for nothing. You get punished for committing ‘sins’. In effect, the massive taxes on drink and cigs are the same thing as fines. But where does petrol tax fit into this scenario? What is the ‘sin’ in driving?


    It is true that around 75% or so of the price of a packet of cigs is tax. That is correct. It is also true that there is a mark up on the basic price, which, as you say, is around 800%. Both statements are true. Both statements say the same thing in different ways.

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