Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd (affectionately known as Rudd the dud) has done the unthinkable yet again. He has introduced progressively escalating tobacco taxes on top of the highest such taxes in the world. He obviously wants to go down in history as the greatest anti-smoker in all creation. This sudden decision, once again, is made without thought of the drug kings who now see tobacco as a new field of illegal profits or of the children of addicted parents (who are generally the poorest people in the community). Where will their next meal or necessary pair of shoes come from? Mr Rudd’s wife is a multi-millionaire. Their family has no idea of the situation of others who are much less fortunate.
Mr Rudd claims that this new tax will fund shortfalls in his government’s budget and will further discourage smoking. He also claims that smokers cost the taxpayer, through the health system, millions of dollars. This is a gross lie. Most cancers caused by smoking result in a quick death, unlike dementia sufferers and others. Also, those smokers who are unfortunate enough to die this way have paid for their deaths many times over in the form of tobacco taxes.
This new tax plus another one targeting bank deposits (so say to form a fund to protect against the possibility of bank failures – Australian banks make huge profits and can afford to pay it themselves but will pass on the cost to their customers – has probably knifed any chance the government has of being re-elected. However the Coalition, when elected, undoubtedly will just accept these new tax increases to fund their programs. After all, they will say, they did not implement these new taxes but certainly they will not get rid of them.
As regards the leaders of the two parties it appears to be a contest between two megalomaniacs who will do anything to further their own interests and agendas. I for one will vote Greens. They do leave a lot to be desired but are the least of several evils.
In regards to the ridiculous level of tobacco taxes I sent a letter to British and American Tobacco but was not favoured with a response. In the current political and world situation it is very difficult to be optimistic about anything.
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