When told “no”, damn well listen!

Cast your collective minds back folks. June 14th 2016, these words were uttered in the House of Lords:

As far as the Treasury is concerned, it does not impose duty on e-cigarettes because tobacco is not involved and it has no plans to do so.

Lord Ashton of Hyde

A sentiment that has been echoed elsewhere (though, irritatingly I can’t find the link) by a Health Minister/Secretary/Under-Secretary.

Long story short, the UK Government has “no plans” to introduce taxation of vaping products.

Oh really?

This will be in light of a second EU consultation on the taxation of e-cigarettes and novel tobacco products. They were told to fuck off the first time. It’s almost like referenda, isn’t it? Don’t get it “right” first time, do it again!

Treasury bean counters try to find ways of funding the extra £20billion pledged to the NHS.

Well funding for the NHS is always a political hot potato (hint, it gets rather a lot of cash already but is remarkably inefficient in many areas) and the easiest thing is to just splurge more dosh onto the altar of the NHS.

Users typically spend around £275 a year on vaping fluid. A five per cent tax would cost them £13.75 a year and raise almost £40million.

Let’s see. Taxing e-liquid or hardware hasn’t really brought in a huge chunk of change for the various municipalities that have introduced a tax, in fact, many stores closed their doors. Not that we’ll see much of that over here as it’d be nationwide, but if mainland Europe don’t implement a tax on vaping products and the UK does, there’ll be a surge in spending on the continent while national spending dives through the floor.

The European Commission is currently holding a public consultation into the taxation of tobacco and vaping products which ends in September.

The average 20-a-day smoker spends more than £3,700 a year on cigarettes.

This consultation you mean? If you haven’t already, do go and make sure your views are known (nicely of course).

As before, the EU is checking that what the Member States are up to (as some already have a vapour tax in place) is actually right, but they are also asking very leading questions about “possible rates of excise”.

Having told the EU once to fuck off with the idea of a tax on HnB and vapour products, the UK Government is looking to do it because it needs to find the cash for the NHS and of course those who no longer smoke but vape (or use HnB) instead must now contribute, while at the same time the EU is rephrasing the question in the hopes it gets the right answer.

It’s never really been about health, has it?