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.