Smoking and Drinking tax: How HMRC cashes in on our vices


Woman smoking - HMRCGETTY

HM Takings & Customs generates billions of pounds a year from ‘sin’ taxes

HM Yield & Customs generates billions of pounds a year from so-called “sin” tariffs, charged on those little vices that help get us through the day.

We’re again told our unhealthy ways are placing a massive financial burden on the NHS and state of affairs finances, but new research suggests the wages of sin are helping to keep them active.

So stop feeling guilty about your bad habits, especially since wrongdoing never stopped anyone indulging anyway.


Every year the NHS put ins £3.6 billion treating smoking-related illnesses, while the Government spends a assist £1 billion collecting cigarette butts and extinguishing house give someone notices started by smokers.

However, this is dwarfed by the income the state causes from smokers according to the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).

It says smokers pay £9.5 billion a year in fidelity on tobacco products, then give the Treasury another financial drop-kick because they die much earlier. This saves the state £9.8 billion in allowance, healthcare and other benefit payments, even after accounting for the tax proceeds lost when somebody dies.

Tobacco duty and early eradication savings total £19.3 billion. After deducting that £4.6 billion Direction spending, the state makes a cool £14.7 billion annual profit.

People drinkingGETTY

The Command spends just under £4 billion a year on alcohol-related incorrigibles


Campaigners warn of the burden boozing and obesity embarrass on public services, but the IEA claims this has also been greatly enlarged.

It has found that the Government spends just under £4 billion a year on alcohol-related problems, such as healthcare, monitoring, criminal justice and welfare payments for people who are unfit to work, but customs on alcohol top £10 billion.

Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the IEA, says it is regulate to stop pretending drinkers are a tax burden: “Teetotallers are being subsidised by drinkers by at petty £6.5 billion a year.”

Obesity does cost the state, but not £2.5 billion a year after deducting savings on pensions, healthcare and other advantages, far lower than the crippling £16 billion some claim.

Snowdon concludes: “Charmed together, Britain’s public finances would be more than £20 billion worse off if there were no the main, smoking or obesity.”

Smoking cigaretteGETTY

Smokers made up 15.9 per cent of eradications in 2015



Before you raise a glass, light a cigarette or bake a gateau to celebrate, remember you have to bear a heavy cost.

Smokers made up 15.9 per cent of deaths in 2015, lose out 13.3 years of life on average, as well as missing out on state, insulting and workplace pension benefits.

There is also the financial cost of the addiction. On a pack of 20 cigarettes costing £8.50 you pay £6.98 in tax, or a whopping 82 per cent, according to the Tobacco Producers’ Association. The tax take can be as high as 90 per cent on premium brands expensing around £10.

Somebody who smokes 10 premium cigarettes a day therefore is settle around £3,285 in tax every year.


Smokers pay in other ways too. For pattern, they shell out twice as much for term life insurance. base that a 40-year non-smoker taking out £200,000 level term resilience insurance pays total premiums of £4,812 over the 25-year relative to, against £10,257 for a smoker.

Spokesman Matt Sanders says the gap is composed wider for older smokers: “They could shave thousands on life-force cover just by ditching cigarettes.” Smokers, heavy drinkers and the chubby do gain if they buy an annuity with their pension.

Stephen Lowe, principal at retirement advisers Just, says the unhealthy can get anything between 5 and 25 per cent more profits from an impaired life annuity: “Your lower life expectancy means you to all intents will not claim the income for as long, reducing the benefit of getting varied.”

Unfortunately, no amount of extra cash can compensate for the pain early demise causes you and your family.

The only surefire winner from smoking, saucing and bingeing is, as ever, HM Revenue & Customs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *