Monday December 31, 2007 5:49 pm Leave a comment
First Social Psychosis story of the year…
Smokers already subsidise the Health Service to the tune of just over 6 times what they cost it.
“Research by the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York has shown that the cost to the NHS of treating diseases caused by smoking is approximately 1.5 billion a year.” (Thorax 1998; 53 (Supplement 5, part 2): S1)
“The Treasury earned 8,055 million in revenue from tobacco duties for the financial year 2002-2003 (excluding VAT))” (Customs & Excise Annual Report 2002-03.) (The VAT would be about another 1 billion on top of that)
On what conceivable legal or moral grounds could anyone possibly justify withholding the benefits of the service they fund more than anyone else in the country???!!!
Indeed, without the smokers, we’d all have to be an extra couple of pence in the pound on our taxes, so someone please tell the imbeciles to act their age not their shoe size…
And if that wasn’t true, and someone can make a credible case for smokers true cost to society outweighing their contribution in taxes then you could only make a case for increasing their costs, not depriving them of benefits. That is straightforward theft.
But before we penalise smokers further still, (and I’m not a smoker by the way) perhaps it’s time we took a look at who really ought to be paying the bills – the true cause of the problem – the tobacco companies who make vast profits at the cost of the health of their customers. Shouldn’t the full “externalised cost” of the damage caused by their product be paid at source?
The polluter pays and all that? Happy New Year