I dont know if many of you have heard about the delightfully mental report “Cough Up” by Policy Exchange. The report concludes British government have got tobacco tax pretty much spot on – well, they don’t tax tax cigarettes quite enough – citing a whole list of “costs” to society including litter collection, house fires and employee absenteeism, as well as, of course, the cost of treating tobacco related diseases etc….
Well if Policy Exchange truly is “David Cameron’s favourite Think Tank” then heaven help the sovietised state we can all look forward to come May 7th, should he get into power. So much for liberal Tories – looks like central planning mentalism will be the order of the day if this lot have any influence….
“Cough up”? Throw up more like.
I started to write a suitable repost to this ridiculously poor report (you usually only get such ill-thought through documents from the Government rushing to get some cock up off the front pages), then was alerted to Mark Littlewood’s excellent post over on the IEA blog.
He makes a number of excellent points – not least the following…
“… The question isn’t how much smokers cost the NHS – but how much less would they cost the NHS if they didn’t smoke. The Policy Exchange research assumes they would cost nothing. But dying of Alzheimer’s as an ex-smoker (or non smoker) in your 80s is going to cost much more than dying as a chainsmoker of heart disease in your 50s. And that doesn’t start to factor in the saving made on state pensions by smokers having the courtesy of dying many years younger..“
Click on the above to read the full IEA article in all its glory.
Let’s see the Tory response……
UPDATE: There is another truly marvelous piece written by Dick Puddlecote – delightful title to his post “That Policy Exchange Nonsense”. A must read!