“Sin taxes,” as they are known, are taxes that are levied on a certain number of products that governments consider harmful like alcohol, tobacco, gambling and certain foods that are high in sugar or fat. In 2012, the average Canadian family paid 5.3% of its total contributions to government in the form of taxes on alcohol, tobacco, entertainment and other excise taxes. These taxes have been fixtures of our lives for a long time, and risk becoming more so during periods of budgetary difficulty insofar as they allow governments to raise more revenue all while claiming to promote virtue. History shows, however, that they rarely achieve their contradictory objectives. Moreover, they sometimes have negative consequences for some of society’s most vulnerable groups.
|Les effets pervers des taxes puritaines (The MEI’s blog at Journal de Montréal, May 29, 2014)||Interview (in French) with Jean-François Minardi (ARGENT business news network, January 22, 2014)|