ASH ET AL swear that swingeing taxation will cut the prevalence of smoking. They are right. There was once upon a time a windows tax. If you had more than a certain number of windows in your home, mansion, castle, fortress, then you had to pay extra taxes. To reduce their taxes, many people bricked up surplus windows. There also lots of people who could not be bothered bricking up surplus windows because they were sufficiently wealthy to pay the tax and were not bothered by that tax. They preferred having the windows.
Swingeing taxation will always work to reduce demand in the short term, but it does nothing to supply. Supply changes in response to demand. If taxation reaches a level where demand moves out of the normal trajectory of supply, then supply will match demand via alternative sources.
The more that taxation is increased, the more viable are alternative sources. The ‘Office of National Statistics’ will always portray a skewed picture. What person, other than the really extremely stupid, would reveal that he has alternative sources?
What seems to happen, in the real world, is that people who smoke only a tiny bit, say five cigs per day, continue to pay the swingeing taxes. The cost of their habit does not bother them. It is those people who enjoy smoking, say, 40 cigs per day who rebel. That rebellion takes a long, long time to work through. But it is an accelerating rebellion, and it is a silent rebellion.
But that rebellion goes far beyond just swingeing taxation of certain products. People are beginning to realise that swingeing taxation is general. People are beginning to realise that the costs of the NHS could easily be covered if not so much money was wasted on the massive bureaucracy of the EU. The EU is like shovelling money into a pit which gets deeper and deeper the more money that is shovelled in.
This is a new idea, even though it is an old idea. The more laws, rules, regulations there are, the more criminals come into being. When I say ‘criminals’, I do not mean thieves and vagabonds – I mean ordinary, law-abiding people who just do not want to be dictated to by ‘experts’.
Politicians exist to defend the People against experts. Saddam Hussein was ‘an expert’; Stalin was ‘an expert’; Pol Pot was ‘an expert’.
When politicians permit swingeing taxation of certain products, they derelict their duty. They permit persecution. That duty applies to ALL politicians. The whole ‘raison d’etre’ of elected representatives is to stop persecution.
THE WHOLE ‘RAISON D’ETRE’ OF ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES IS TO STOP PERSECUTION.