Yesterday I came across a piece.
In a hen’s teeth moment I Tweeted it along with the comment “The first of many such facilities, I would imagine? Nothing to do with exorbitant taxation of course“. It got quite a reaction!
Surprisingly [or not] the reaction mainly centred around the fact that there were “foreign” criminals and how they should be immediately packed off home, overlooking the simple fact that as EU citizens they are free to march straight back in.
But are they criminals? Under Irish law they are, but that law is there purely to protect the gubmint’s tax grab. That “illegal” factory was doing what any tobacco company is doing – producing cigarettes. What they were doing is manufacturing and not harming anyone, except maybe for an infringement of copyright. They were following the basic law of economics – supplying to fill a demand.
But of course there has to be the implication that they are robbing us by not paying tax. They have “stolen” €12 million from the exchequer. That is pure unadulterated bollox. They haven’t stolen anything. The exchequer hasn’t grabbed a potential €12 million but that is not even a loss – it is a potential lack of money which cannot be entered on any balance sheet. If someone declares that I owe them €100 and I don’t pay it, are they then any worse off? Have I stolen that €100? Of course not and it it utter nonsense to suggest that I did.
If anyone is at fault here it’s the gubmint. They impose punitive taxes on cigarettes for no other reason that a religious zeal, to supposedly protect us from ourselves and “encourage” us to cease doing something of which they disapprove. If someone wants to go into the business of circumventing those horrendous taxes then they have my full unconditional support.
If the gubmint wants to really do something to prevent these factories springing up [which they will continue to do] then there is a very simple answer. All they have to do is reduce those exorbitant taxes to a reasonable level in line with taxes on any other product.
All those “criminals” were doing was preventing theft by the exchequer.
It’s more of an anit-crime?