Saturday, June 14, 2014

A problem of their own creation

Apparently with little else to do because the EU makes up most of our laws other than try and figure out how to sell an intervention in Iraq to us (not going to happen) our MP's are decrying the lack of action in dealing with tobacco smuggling. It's the usual 'something must be done meme' being advanced by those who don't realise that the problem isn't really a problem at all, but a self inflicted wound caused by their own actions.
Efforts to tackle tobacco smuggling have been hampered by a "farcical" lack of action by the government and its agencies, a committee of MPs has said.
The number of illicit cigarettes smoked in the UK rose by 49% to a billion in 2012, suggesting a reduction in enforcement action, the MPs said.
The Commons home affairs select committee said the failure to deal with rogue products was "of grave concern".
HM Revenue and Customs said tackling tobacco smuggling was "a priority".
The committee was particularly critical of the failure to fine a single firm for deliberately oversupplying cigarettes to high-risk markets in order for them to be smuggled back to the UK.
Taxpayers lose out on around £2bn in unpaid duty because of the illegal trade.
If the idiots in charge of us hadn't made the price of the things so expensive in the first place then smuggling them wouldn't be a lucrative activity by those who do it. If it didn't pay to do it, then they simply wouldn't bother and as for those who buy them, well it's clear they couldn't give a damn who supplies them as they look at the price from a man in a van and the state price in the shops and it's simply no contest. This is the lessons learned by the USA during prohibition, if people want something and its banned or priced artificially high then the criminals will come in and start selling it to the law abiding. Essentially the government have driven a lot of smokers into the hands of criminals and are now bitching that its costing them £2 billion in revenue.
The answers simple, drop the price and regain the revenue, however that's never going to happen as there are others out there who hate the idea that people smoke and it is they who at root have caused the loss in revenue and are not willing to compromise so want crooks arrested not realising that there are more out there to jump into the gap (and our prisons are full)
Anyway, this is definitely one to sit back and get the popcorn out as neither side will admit they made a mistake and the loss of revenue will continue to roll into the pockets of the criminal classes. That plus smokers are getting a bargain too and that's going to rub the noses of the anti-smoking brigade right into the mess of their own making.

3 annotations:

Mr. Morden said...

They will find some other 'demon' (sugar, salt, fat etc) to tax the life out of us and make up for the fact that they cannot:

a) balance a budget.

b) reduce the size of Government.

This is a failure of BIG NANNY STATE GOVERNMENT write large. Shame they are all blind.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has the slightest knowledge of history will know that we have been here before.
"Face the wall my Darling as the gentlemen go by, Brandy for the Parson and Baccy for the Clerk"
The 18th Century was rife wth smuggling for exactly the same reason, high duties which the people were not prepared to pay.

Lord T said...

Personally even if the price was exactly the same I'd buy fags, that were legit, from white van man rather than fund our useless gov. At least white van man will spend it on wine, women and song and not to fund more persecution of the public.