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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Do they really think we are that stupid?

Unfortunately it seems they do.  They of course, being politicians, and in this case, once again, Labour politicians.

Today's idiocy is the notion that the Labour Party will "save the NHS" by spending another £2.5 billion a year on doctor's and nurses.  Let's get this straight.  £2.5 billion is a lot of money, well not so much in the London property market, but in the real world it can buy quite a lot.  But it is less than 2% of national spending on healthcare (about £120bn in the NHS and £25bn in the private sector).

With an ageing and growing population spending on the NHS is going have to increase (or process improvements are going to have to be found) amounting to more than 2% above the rate of inflation to cope. Less than 2% over 5 years just isn't going to cut it.

Worse still, they propose to fund it, at least in part by a levy on the tobacco companies. Now I am not a smoker, and never have been, but smokers have my sympathy. The government already raises £11 in taxes on the sale of cigarettes.  The biggest component of the cost is the tobacco duty, followed by the 20% VAT on the duty.  The cost of the weed is but a miserable 10% of the cost of the cigarette.  Tobacco revenues already far outstrip the cost of treating smokers for lung cancer, but now they are paying handsomely for the rest of us.

The tobacco companies know that their customers are hooked but they will stay in business even if they pass on the cost of the NS levy and as the price for a pack of 20 heads to £10. But it is the Labour Party who really take us for fools, or perhaps in this case take smokers as hopeless addicts.

Prevalance of smoking is much higher among those living on low wages, the unemployed and those on benefits. Essentially this is a policy tht is going to fall harder on those that Labour pretends to be helping.


Demetrius said...

Modern aviation etc. means that the NHS is international and not national in many places. Also, there is on the one hand misuse of its facilities and on the other the fall out from modern fun culture. Yes there is the ageing population but this was foreseeable and should have been covered. Also other factors. Huffington Post had an item today from Dr. Steve Taylor about spending his life lately in meetings and the real cost of reorganisations. As you say more tax on smokers is a cop out. The one big area for tax is the one they are all running away from as a certain election loser.

Bill Bell said...

I absolutely agree, the increased spending on the NHS should be funded through an increase in CGT, higher taxes for top bracket earners and a rise in the tax on underemployed capital amd property.

Not an increase in tobacco tax.