The British Government is cashing in on our peccadilloes to the tune of billions of pounds every year – and keeps telling us its for our own good!
An investigation for a leading news organisation reveals that taxation ‘nicks’ 60 per cent of what we spend on cigarettes, wine and fuel to drive us to the pub.
So, how much of your hard-earned dosh goes to the taxman in ‘sin taxes’?
Billions – that’s how much!
Data for The Sun Online put together by Hargreaves Lansdown shows that tax actually makes up an average of 60 per cent of what we spend on things we enjoy but are supposedly bad for us.
£7.79 of the £10.40 smokers pay for a packet of 20 is tax. That’s about 75 per cent. Hargreaves Lansdown says that a 20-a-day smoker would spend £3,796 a year of which £2,800 would be tax, including tobacco duty and VAT.
And if you like the odd gin and tonic, the taxman is taking £11 of the £18 you spend on a 70cl bottle.
On 40 litres of petrol costing £52, drivers will fork out £32 in tax – 61 per cent.
About £3 of a 75cl £5 bottle of wine goes to the taxman and beer drinkers are paying 32 per cent on a pint, about £1.15.
Sarah Coles, of Hargreaves Lansdown, told the website: “The taxman loves sin taxes like VAT and duty on booze and cigarettes, and stealth taxes on petrol, using them to get his hands on huge sums of our hard-earned cash.
“In some cases, tax makes up almost two thirds of the price you pay, and when it comes to cigarettes tax is three quarters of the price.
“Unfortunately the only way to avoid these taxes is to cut back on some of the fun things in life. If that sounds like a miserable way to live…”
But of course the Government says it’s all in our best interests – the less we can afford to drink, the healthier we’ll be and the less we can afford to smoke, the longer we will live – and the less we can afford to drive, the less likely we are to kill everybody in a fug of pollution!
Yeh, right – like the shrinkation of take-away beefburgers, that old favourite Wagonwheels and fizzy drinks has turned us all into Adonis’s!
Last year, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a freeze on duty prices for beers, wine and spirits – but the price of pack of 20 still went up by 28p.
According to Hargreaves Lansdown tobacco raises £8.83 billion, spirits £3,43 billion, beer £3.46 billion, wine, 4.26 billion, cider £294 million and fuel £27.88 billion.
But a word of warning – make sure your new healthy lifestyle doesn’t make you ill because the ailing NHS can barely afford to treat you now anyway!