Sin tax can help save lives in Covid-19 fight

Cape Argus - - METRO - TER­ENCE GRANT | Woodstock

TAX from cig­a­rettes and al­co­hol could be used to pro­vide Covid-19 pa­tients with the oxy­gen and care they need.

Al­low­ing restau­rants to serve two or three drinks to pa­trons who or­der a meal would al­most cer­tainly not place a sig­nif­i­cant bur­den on hos­pi­tals and would be con­sis­tent with what most over­seas coun­tries are do­ing.

Sim­i­larly, smok­ers are not likely to place a sig­nif­i­cant bur­den on hos­pi­tals, or be at a sig­nif­i­cantly higher risk of dy­ing (than peo­ple who re­cently gave up) and can eas­ily pur­chase cig­a­rettes on the black mar­ket. Con­se­quently, one can hardly be blamed for think­ing that some of our lead­ers are re­ceiv­ing kickbacks from il­licit-cig­a­rette sup­pli­ers.

Suf­fice it to say that if gov­ern­ment gen­uinely wanted to save lives, it would use some of the tax it should be re­ceiv­ing (from the sale of al­co­hol and cig­a­rettes) to buy ven­ti­la­tors and masks and to em­ploy more doc­tors and nurses. On this point, one notes that the BBC re­cently re­ported that a Port El­iz­a­beth field hos­pi­tal is only us­ing about 30 of its 1 200 beds due to a short­age of es­sen­tial staff and oxy­gen.

Imag­ine the good we could be do­ing with all the money the gov­ern­ment is al­low­ing to go down the drain. Sadly, the gov­ern­ment does not ex­plain its de­ci­sions to the lit­tle peo­ple un­less forced to do so by courts and one con­se­quently must look for so­lace in the fact that elec­tions can­not be de­layed in­def­i­nitely.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.