Sunday, 13 June 2010

Taxing statistics

I've just seen on an internet news site this headline: Public want unhealthy lifestyles tax to save NHS.  It went on to state that a study shows 35% of those surveyed support a tax hike on alcohol, cigarettes and unhealthy food. It's clear that our pernicious democratic system that sometimes gives political parties 100+ majorities in the Commons on less than 40% of the vote has tainted the researchers' views on what constitutes a majority. I suppose a headline that 65% don't want an unhealthy lifestyles tax is rather less dramatic, but such is the pernicious grip of anti-alcohol campaigners on media perceptions that this obvious fact has completely escaped them. I've got news for all those who want health taxes: we've already got them. The amount of tax and duty paid on alcohol and cigarettes is a very high percentage of the purchase price ~ another fact our media types failed to point out. 

A media "debate" on alcohol and smoking that misses out obvious facts, that is clearly skewed in one direction, and which regards 35% as everyone is no debate at all. It's more an example of "the big lie", so beloved of the Nazis, and the foundation of the dictatorship in Orwell's 1984. If this is overstating the case, it's not by much ~ the Daily Mail uses similar techniques all the time on a variety of issues.

I think the percentage in the picture is is higher now due to the beer tax escalator. I remember the Tories saying about the petrol tax escalator that idea of an escalator is that at some point you reach the top. But they were in opposition then of course.


  1. Given that 97% of Scots have so-called unhealthy lifestyles, this will just be a tax on us all.

  2. They've got to pay for essentials like the Afghan war and Trident somehow, I suppose.

  3. Both of which are trivial in comparison with the Social Security budget. Hey, but I suppose keeping able-bodied people in idleness is far more important than defending our country.

  4. That's an interesting point, and I'm all in favour of getting people off benefits and into work. When I was on the dole myself, all I wanted was a job. But there is a shortfall of jobs now, which is going to get worse as the public sector lay-offs begin, with a knock-on effect on the private sector when, for example, building projects are cancelled and construction workers are laid off.

    I can't see either the Afghan war or Trident as contributing to our safety. Quite the opposite, in my view. But, Curmudgeon, we either completely agree on things or have diametrically opposed views, with nothing in between, which I find interesting.

  5. Instead of determining Income Tax on income ranges, why not determine it on fatness? The more portly pay the highest rate? All it costs a compnay is a pair of scales.


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