Sin Taxes can downgrade the usability of the items that are not in favour of human health and imposition of this tax can work like a double-edged sword, how? Let us continue with the article to prove that.
First of all let me make it clear that Sin-tax is a kind of tax imposed on items like alcohol and tobacco as well as soft drinks. Now, most of you could have gotten the point to be eleborated next.
Well, as this tax could help combat rising rates of chronic disease worldwide, it can also drive the poorer into further poverty if they don’t skip using these products.
No doubt taxes on these products are more likely to change the lifestyle behaviour of vulnerable poorer consumers while the tax revenues would be coming from the higher income households, and this has been also proven by a global research study.
As poorer sections of society are disproportionately affected by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that are linked to lifestyle, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes & cancer, being described as a “major cause and consequence” of poverty according to the articles published in ‘The Lancet’ medical journal; the Sin taxes if work positively, can lower down the number of affected people.
In Britain a tax on sugary drinks came into effect yesterday and as a result of significant cost added to the price of fizzy drinks, (though it is expected to hit manufacturers rather than consumers) the consumption of fizzy drinks is being looked to lessen.
If we bring in mind Dr Rachel Nugent’s statement that “Non-communicable diseases are a major cause and consequence of poverty worldwide”, we will quite sure that in country like Pakistan Sin taxes are required very badly. Why? Because the country is rapidly getting into the carriage of chronic disease and it is also an admitted fact that poor class is the worst in this case.
So, to improve the health care system of the country, the first thing to be done is to imposition of Sin taxes, and it will be a big investments for the healthcare sector.
As these taxes are being called for the benefit of humanity, Christopher Snowdon, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, call it the next cause for the increasing poverty.
He insisted that “Sugar taxes have not reduced obesity rates anywhere in the world, and smoking is much more prevalent among the poor than among the rich,” and “There is precious little evidence that poor people benefit from being taxed”.
So, we can confidentally say that because the poor consume drugs like tobacco and other drinks to console their distress, it is not possible up to 100 % that they avoid using these items due to tax imposition, so the thing of worst need is “awareness of the health issues and their causes” not sin taxes.