Tax Money from Cigarettes not being used for Health Purposes
Is the decision for the health of the people or a trick to collect more taxes? Smokers don’t approve of the plan to raise cigarette prices. To smokers, tobacco isn’t an item of personal preference. It is an essential item like food, and other staples. If the government had really intended to curb smoking for health reasons, they could have regulated the sale of tobacco. Tax money from tobacco sales account for a large part of the government’s budget. Are you aware of where this tax money is being spent? The government spends most of its tax revenues from cigarettes on fields irrelevant to the health of the people. 33.3% of the tax revenue was spent on the education, 38.9% on accounting resources in local governments, and only 27.2% on health promotion. In this situation that everyone is aware of, who can believe that the government is raising tobacco prices for health reasons? The government has to clarify the use of tax money before falsely claiming that the plan was made for the health of the people and to reduce smoking rates.
by Lee Jeong-ho
Dept. of Japanese Language & Literature
Government Taxing the People Again
The government announced a cigarette price-hike from 2,500 won to 4,500 won starting next month. The main purpose of this policy is to reduce smoking rates. Would smokers, however, quit smoking because of a 2,000 won increase? They would not. Smokers around me do worry about the financial burden caused by paying 2,000 won more, but don’t intend to stop smoking. According to a research study, the cigarette price at which people on low incomes would consider quitting smoking is 8,497 won. For people on high incomes, it is 9,660 won. It is impracticable to accomplish the government’s goal by raising prices by 2,000 won. I think that the government’s hidden aim is tax revenue. They want to collect more taxes from the public for their budget. They have wasted the citizen’s taxes, implementing useless business policies. To cover the losses, they are carrying out new policies, while ignoring citizens’ views. The people know the government’s hidden intentions, and I, a non-smoker, am frustrated with the government policy. If Korea is a democratic country, isn’t it essential to put the people ahead of everything?
by Kim Jae-hyun
Dept. of Journalism & Mass Communication
Seong Jaeho -
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