As the title says The Czech Republic confirms that smokers pay ten times more than they cost.
“Minister: Smokers’ treatment costs one tenth of taxes
Prague, Aug 14 (CTK) – An analysis the Czech Health Ministry has made shows that Czech smokers pay in consumer taxes and VAT dozens of billions of crowns more than what their treatment costs, the Czech Television (CT) public broadcaster Sunday quoted Health Minister Leos Heger (TOP 09) as saying.
Heger said public finances would lose minimally 50 billion crowns without smokers.
He said recently he would like a part of the collected tax to go to his sector.
“About six billion crowns is spent on the treatment of smokers’ diseases in the system of public health insurance annually while the tax on tobacco products brings in the state budget about 60 billion,” Heger said.
CT said that according to the analysis, the state collects 44 billion crowns in consumer tax on tobacco annually and another 16 billion crowns are paid by smokers in VAT.
The treatment of cancer, heart attack and other tobacco-related diseases, however, costs the insurance companies only six billion, CT said referring to the analysis.
“The analysis confirms what I have always thought – that it brings effect to public budgets, not losses. This, however, does not mean at all that I would want to promote smoking,” Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) said on CT.
Eva Kralikova, head of the addictions treatment centre of the 1st Medical Faculty of Charles University, said, however, the health care sector pays 80 to 100 billion crowns for the presence of tobacco in the market.
She explained her statement saying that besides the treatment costs also the fact that ill smokers do not pay direct taxes and health insurance must be added to the statistics.
Heger’s opponents say the costs of treatment are much higher. Vascular and heart operations alone that mostly smokers undergo cost three billion crowns annually.
Cancer treatment costs some 20 billion crowns annually, the opponents say.
Heger says he would like a part of the yield from consumer taxes on cigarettes when they are raised next time to be sent directly to the health sector.
He said in July he supports further raising the tobacco tax.
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