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  1. 1

    Heathdon McGregor

    how have those recommendations changed in time? Are they any different from 5, 10 years ago or has the medical profession realised we have a wowser in office whose aim is to reeducate the poor via their hip pockets? The opposition floated this idea first, they dont disagree but they are correct when they call it a cash grab, if it was health policy then cigarettes would just be banned. Instead we have this system of everytime a government needs to tighten its spending it increases the tax on cigarettes or alcohol. Did the alcopos tax stop binge drinking or just cost the poor more money?

  2. 2


    Dear Croakey – what a load of bull. As a person who has almost 20 years experience in the health sector (not in admin), your assertion that increasing taxes on tobacco equates to a utopic reduction in the number of smokers is up there with people who say smoking does not harm your health.

    It is rubbish.

    How easy it is to rely on some else’s research to back up your argument. What sort of research have you done – and I don’t mean reading others essays, thesis or findings! What sort of real research have you done? I would assume from your flagrant abuse of someone else’s research that you have done none.

    So let me tell you – increasing taxes leads to a temporary slow down in the up-take of smoking – a bit like a speed bump. People than get use to it and keep going. The take up then goes back to normal.

    The best deterrent is, and always has been, mass education. Now that is something you can draw a direct correlation with in regards to smoking numbers declining.

    Also it has been shown that more low income workers are likely to smoke than high income (I’m sure you can find someone else’s research to back this up if you look around). Therefore the people who are most disadvantaged by price rises are low income earners. But most of them don’t quit because of addiction.

    Addressing addiction should be the second thing the governments addresses. But Mr Rudds government won’t do that as it leads to a loss of revenue on 2 levels:
    1) Less people smoking = less revenue from taxes
    2) Subsidising people quitting is a costly expense and this government has just finished bankrupting the country and cannot afford it.

    No, this government is in revenue raising mode – we are not dumb – we all know it.

    Croakey, what a shame you read 1 or 2 papers on this issue and now consider yourself to be well informed. No wonder you write under a pseudonym. Go out and use cyber space better mate – I’m sure you can find some else’s initiatives to praise.

  3. 3

    David Sanderson

    Be fair, if you are a lazy, opportunist Opposition that can’t be bothered to do any serious policy work then it’s a bit much to expect the facts to get in the way of a handy attack one-liner that might be repeated by The Parrot.

    If I can get The Parrot to repeat my line a few times then I will pick up dozens of ignorant voters who would’ve voted for us anyway. If you’re a politician like me then I call that a good days work.
    Peter Dutton

  4. 4

    Jean Thornton

    I can’t understand the argument about tax on alochol and tobacco being just ‘tax grabs’. I do think that higher taxes on these items does work but even if it didn’t I’d rather the taxes came from these things – that people have a choice about purchasing and which are proved to cause ill health – than other tax areas. If I was the government I’d say ‘yes part of it IS a tax grab, we need taxes to pay for services and pay off debt so wouldn’t you rather we taxed fags and booze than increase income tax or whatever?’. Part of the need for higher taxes is the ever increasing cost of providing health services to people who smoke and drink too much.

  5. 5

    Greg Willis

    It is astounding dishonest that Melissa chooses to claim Dutton said one thing and counter that, rather than generate educated discussion about the topic.

    Dutton’s actual statement was “Don’t try and dress all of these issues up as health issues when really they are just about the Rudd Government trying to grab money” and that really gets to the core of it.

    No one, not Dutton or your average illiterate on the street will doubt that increasing the price of alcohol or tobacco decreases consumption. His point was simply that it is being considered first and foremost because it raises revenue for the government, that it has health benefits is also a nice guise to present to the media.

    People like Melissa Sweet demonstrate why such dishonesty was employed by Labor in the first place.

  6. 6


    Peter Dutton should mention that the Liberals get a cash handout from big tobacco, just before he starts to defend increase taxs on tobacco. Why should non -smokers pay for their medical bills later down the track?. I do believe the govts. are drug dealers and are hooked on their share of the blood money.


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