Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cigarettes and alcohol - a budget for 'families'

Cheltenham racing folk - beer and cigarettes

So that (below) was the news from England last week, when we were not talking about the economy and The Budget. Like the recent budget in Holland, it was supposed to be a budget for everyone, most importantly ‘families’, business, pensioners and so on … blah blah blah… It seemed to be more like a budget for a government trying to raise money to pay for all its financial commitments by increasing taxes everywhere. This was the reality, very different from the hype. Poor people will see a doubling in the amount of income tax they pay when the rate goes up from 10% to 20%. How nice. Then, if such poor person wants to smoke, drink or drive, he/she will be clobbered by price rises there. More if they drink than if they drive actually, because whereas the duty on alcohol was to go up the following Sunday, the already announced increase in petrol duty was delayed from April to October. Driving a private car, despite all the oil price rises and hikes in insurance rates has actually become cheaper under Labour (by about 10% in real terms) whilst if you are lucky to have any public transport in your neighbourhood, this has gone up about 15%-20%. So much for a green government concerned about climate change, as the current Prime Minister says he is.

Well, one good thing that they have done is to introduce a salesroom tax on 4x4 gas guzzlers, which should discourage people from choosing such big and unnecessary cars/vehicles – the Chelsea mothers brigade. Just as effective, if not more, should be the hikes in the congestion charge for such vehicles whereby they have to pay 15 pounds a day to enter London. Excellent!

My friend, Philip, said that London was the one city in Europe where they are seeing reductions in car use, mainly due to such measures. I begged to differ as I think that Amsterdam has doen a good job in reducing private transport, through narrowing roads, reducing the numbers of parking places and making residents pay for parking and restricting the numbers of permits. That, along with maintaining an excellent public transport system and creating cycle lanes all over the place (proper ones too).

So, the big social enemy seems to be drink, alcoholic drink, whereby beer needs to cost 3p a pint more, wine 14p a bottle and spirits 55p a bottle. Maybe a response to underage and anti-social drinking, but more a ready way to make lots of money on products with an inelastic demand curve… people will be drinking just as much, within reason, despite the price… and this can be done with the vague idea that the government is trying to protect the health of the population by encouraging them to drink less. Drink a bottle of wine a day, and the tax increase is a pound a week and 50 pounds a year, just the amount extra which pensioners (like my Mum) will receive extra this year (as a one-off) as contribution to their heating bills.

And, then we had the all of a major US bank, Bear Sterns and what happens to the economy once the financial system starts collapsing? We’ll be talking about more than a few pennies here and there. The unraveling of the US unregulated financial system, which has been financed by the Chinese, Japanese and Saudis has long been heralded, it was just a question of time. An interesting article in Dagblad de Pers today pointed out that the Dutch economy should be reasonably well insulated against shocks to the American system because trade with the US is less than 5% of the total export and the banks do not have a high exposure to the US banks and their financial instruments, although this remains to be seen… the Sunday Times mentioned the Belgian/Dutch bank Fortis as possibly being in trouble. Anyway, it is a good feeling, at least from this side of the channel. In the UK, it is quite probably a different story… we’ll see…

4 Comments:

Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 08.17
louboutin, michael kors outlet, kate spade outlet, michael kors, longchamp outlet, coach outlet, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, louboutin outlet, longchamp, christian louboutin outlet, nike air max, coach outlet, jordan shoes, nike outlet, burberry outlet online, coach factory outlet, coach purses, nike air max, michael kors outlet, gucci outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet, prada handbags, ray ban sunglasses, tory burch outlet, chanel handbags, burberry, true religion jeans, nike free, true religion jeans, polo ralph lauren outlet, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, prada outlet, louboutin shoes, tiffany and co, tiffany jewelry, kate spade handbags, oakley sunglasses, true religion jeans

17 August, 2015 09:41  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

michael kors, hollister, ray ban pas cher, nike air max, timberland, nike blazer, nike huarache, nike free run uk, converse pas cher, hollister pas cher, lacoste pas cher, hogan, true religion outlet, tn pas cher, nike air max, michael kors, nike free, lululemon, abercrombie and fitch, vanessa bruno, nike air max, air force, mulberry, ray ban uk, sac longchamp, hermes, longchamp, new balance pas cher, michael kors, north face, north face, air jordan pas cher, ralph lauren uk, nike trainers, ralph lauren pas cher, nike roshe run, louboutin pas cher, air max, nike roshe, sac guess, burberry, oakley pas cher, longchamp pas cher, vans pas cher

17 August, 2015 09:42  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

birkin bag, hollister, bottega veneta, giuseppe zanotti, mcm handbags, soccer shoes, oakley, louboutin, ghd, celine handbags, vans, wedding dresses, nfl jerseys, instyler, new balance, baseball bats, hollister, babyliss, p90x workout, chi flat iron, asics running shoes, nike roshe, timberland boots, nike air max, hollister, beats by dre, converse, north face outlet, abercrombie and fitch, insanity workout, lululemon, valentino shoes, reebok shoes, mont blanc, vans shoes, soccer jerseys, ralph lauren, ferragamo shoes, jimmy choo shoes, north face outlet, iphone 6 cases, nike air max, herve leger, mac cosmetics

17 August, 2015 09:45  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ugg boots, bottes ugg, ray ban, louis vuitton, wedding dresses, louis vuitton outlet, pandora charms, coach outlet, ugg boots, toms shoes, louis vuitton, juicy couture outlet, hollister, lancel, converse outlet, louis vuitton outlet, replica watches, montre pas cher, ugg boots uk, ugg boots, links of london, juicy couture outlet, swarovski crystal, ugg pas cher, karen millen, ugg boots, pandora charms, thomas sabo, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, swarovski, louis vuitton, uggs on sale, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, sac louis vuitton pas cher, supra shoes, gucci, marc jacobs, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, doke gabbana outlet, ugg,uggs,uggs canada
ninest123 08.17

17 August, 2015 09:45  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Locations of visitors to this page