Why do governments like alcohol and tobacco tax?

Governments like raising taxes on alcohol and tobacco because they get a lot of money out of people in this way. And although people complain for a while, they stop neither drinking nor smoking. People drink and smoke. They always have and always will. Period.

And that is exactly what all governments keep in mind when they raise taxes on alcohol and tobacco. Of course, they need an excuse for that and they use the same excuse all the time – they want to protect their people’s health. And because alcohol and tobacco are bad for your health, if they raise the taxes on them, people will drink less and smoke less. And thus they will be healthier.

What would happen if people stopped drinking alcohol and smoking?

But they do not tell you that they are confident that people will not drink or smoke less. And so, in this way they are able to get more and more money year after year. But what would happen if people stopped drinking and smoking? What would the governments do, if they were getting less and less in tax revenue from alcohol and tobacco products? Japan has just answered that question.

In Japan, they have a problem with demographic situation. There are far more old people living on pension than there are young people who work and pay their taxes. Old people do not drink or smoke a lot.

But the young people stopped drinking and smoking as well. During the covid-19 lockdowns people were not allowed to go to pubs. And people don’t drink much at home. Furthermore, the young people are changing their life-style. They simply do not drink or smoke as much as they used to.

Allegedly, the Japanese government has started a contest project called ‘Sake Viva!’ where young people can send their business ideas on how to get more young people start drinking and smoking again. Yes! The Japanese government now wants their young people to drink and smoke more!

And because they don’t know how to do it, they asked the young people for advice. Well, how about to cut the taxes on both alcohol and tobacco?

How do people react when they see that the government is promoting alcohol?

Of course, the people in Japan are asking the same questions on their social media. Why does the government want people to smoke and drink, when for the past ten years they have been trying to persuade young people not to drink or smoke? Aren’t alcohol and tobacco bad for your health anymore? What has changed?

Well, dear taxpayers, only one thing has changed. Your government has not collected enough money from the alcohol and tobacco tax. That’s all.

Meanwhile, in Europe…

The governments in Europe have not heard (or don’t want to hear) of the Japan’s tax revenue problem. Allegedly, many governments are planning to raise alcohol and tobacco taxes up again.

Because people will always drink and smoke. Right?

Right? Governments in Europe, right?

complain /kəmˈpleɪn/ – sťažovať sa

neither… nor… – ani … ani…

excuse /ɪkˈskjuːs/ – výhovorka;

confident /ˈkɒnfɪdənt/ – sebaistý, istý si niečím

tax /tæks/ – daň

revenue /ˈrevənjuː/ – príjem (z daní, z obchodnej aktivity)

to be allowed to – mať dovolené, smieť

furthermore – navyše, okrem toho

contest – súťaž o cenu

how about – a čo tak..

taxpayers /ˈtækspeɪə(r)/ – daňoví poplatníci