Tag Archives: Tax

EU Tobacco proposal not enough

Yesterday’s EU directive proposals state that (if passed) tobacco companies would be forced to cover 75% of their cigarette boxes with health warnings (both text and image), as stated below:

The proposal foresees that combined warnings (picture plus text) of 75% should be displayed on both sides of the packages of tobacco products, presented in rotation.
Directive 2001/37/EC already makes text health warnings mandatory and picture warnings optional.
For further reading of the details click here.

Australia

As from the 1st of December tobacco companies in Australia are only allowed to put the name of the brand on the cigarette, the rest of the packaging is now covered 100% in an olive-green colour with health warnings and images highlighting the negative effects of smoking.

Summery

So while the EU proposal is definitely progressive unfortunately it doesn’t go as far as Australia.
A balance has to be struck in life to allow people to make their own choices, whether we agree with them or not but when those choices effect other people they must be limited. Smoking effects other people whether that’s breathing in other peoples smoke walking down the street or through increased taxes to pay for health care for these people.
I wouldn’t suggest banning cigarettes and smoking but everything must be done to discourage it as much as possible.

Class War?

Last week the old class antagonisms resurfaced when the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown suggested that the policies of conservative leader David Cameron were dreamed up on the playing fields of Eton. Mr Cameron later responded with “If they want to fight a class war, fine, go for it. It doesn’t work”.

Though the Labour party of Gordon Brown (and his predecessor Tony Blair) is far removed from its socialist origins the question of the relevance of class is still valid.

Surprisingly (to myself) the general consensus of a BBC News “Have Your Say” debate sides with “call me Dave” Cameron. Peoples train of thought tends to lean towards that it’s better to have more highly educated people in positions of power or that as long as they are competent at their job then their background is of no importance. A small minority stated that those who have only lived a privileged life will be unable to relate to real world problems that the majority of people have to go through thus if elected would put the interests of the working class at the bottom of the pile. This can be backed up by Dave’s inheritance tax plans that would favour only the top 2% of the UK as well as lowering corporation tax to 20 per cent. To cover this deficit income must be generated from somewhere and like the bank bailout no doubt it will be the working class picking up the tab.

The chances are that after the next election the UK citizens will have a chance to see first hand Tory policies in practice but this should in no way be an indication of a class effect on politics, after all neither Labour or Conservatives have the working class as their priority, maybe it’s time for a truly working class political party to come to the fore.