The new Sin Tax Law or anti-cancer bill as advertised by some, seeks to be approved to allow more taxes for cigarettes. The government wants to justify a new tax burden on people, by saying it is for their interest.
It’s like saying, “Hey, let me do something for you, and would you mind me getting a bit of money for my concern?”. Problem is, that is the only thing government is good at, extracting money, not really doing much public service.
As a public servant, government is already entitled to tax. But isn’t the current amount already enough for them? Taking more borders on thievery, coercion, and extortion. Sin tax is a pretty opportunity for government to extract more from people, in the guise of taking care of them. People chose to smoke and drink beer. Government should honor that right. Instead of coming after smokers and drinkers, government should go after criminals, something government isn’t doing properly now. Smokers and drinkers are the same as any of us, just tax paying people who are targeted to be taxed more.
Sin tax is marketed as a service by branding it as “sin” tax, helping people avoid sin. Not encouraging vices though, government should not discourage free trade either. Additional tax burden on wine and cigarettes, make these businesses less profitable for the business owners, and also pass a burden on the people. It is a loss for business owners, a loss for consumers as well, but a win for government who collects the money made. Justifying that they will give plenty to government hospitals and so, still does not make it right, only more palatable. Marketing it as helping people avoid “sin” items does not justify the losses to consumers and the business owners.
Also government must look to be efficient in the use of money set aside to them, and not extract more from the people. Using an analogy let us imagine the Filipino as a cow. Trying to extract more milk than what it normally gives is painful to the cow. Lets try to help Filipinos prosper, so we could all gain from everyone’s profitability. When the people earn more, it means more tax for government.
Efficiency and effectiveness in how government handles money, is not solved by dipping their hands in the pocket of the people. Senator Recto already burdened people with the VAT, now he wants to put his hand in our wallets again. I know that Recto Avenue has pickpockets but the bigger Recto is in broad daylight.
Hopefully, the Filipino will realize it is named sin law, because stealing will be done on him. After all, isn’t stealing more money from the people is what extra tax is about?