Pijnlijke aderlating voor Ontario
De provinciale overheid van Ontario in Canada loopt per jaar een half miljard dollar aan belastingen mis door de rookverboden in casino’s. Het bedrag komt overeen met 16% van de opbrengsten van de benzineaccijnsen en 20-30% van het jaarlijkse provinciale budget. Met het bedrag zouden de overheidsambtenaren een loonsverhoging van 1,8% kunnen krijgen.
Deze informatie kwam boven water nadat met succes de lokale overheid via de wet Openbaarheid van Bestuur was gedwongen de cijfers van een door haar uitgevoerd onderzoek vrij te geven. De informatie is dus uit de eerste hand!
Is dát even schrikken! Geen wonder dat deze nu uitgelekte cijfers tot nou toe angstvallig geheim werden gehouden!
The new documents also show the government was also warned in 2004 that 1,500 jobs could be in jeopardy at Niagara Falls because the city’s older casino might be forced to close because of lost revenues caused by the smoking ban.
“Not only will this new law take away the choices for smokers to gather in places where they will not bother others – such as private clubs, but it will also affect Ontarians in general. The government, until now, has been very careful to keep this information private,” said Nancy Daigneault, president of the 25,000 member mychoice.ca, which is Canada’s largest smokers’ rights association.
Ms. Daigneault said it is now clear the new law is the result of imposed ideology, and not a realistic measure based on appropriate and justifiable responses to demonstrable risks.
“Presumably because the government feels it has to balance individual rights, the economy, and jobs with public health, it is not banning people from driving in public or even banning heavy industry. This despite the fact that exhaust fumes and industry contribute heavily to the smog that the Ontario Medical Association says causes 5,800 premature deaths a year in the province,” said Ms. Daigneault.
“Health Canada guestimates that second-hand smoke contributes to 300 premature deaths a year in Ontario, and the provincial government responds with a law that says smokers can’t even have their own clubs or smoking rooms any more – even if this means eliminating hundreds of millions of dollars from the public purse, and wiping out jobs and businesses,” Ms. Daigneault said.
“We have jobs on the line, and massive revenue losses that will either have to be made up somehow from other government taxes, fees or spending priorities.
“And these FOI reports only really deal with the impact on the province of denying smokers any choices at gaming facilities. They do not begin to assess the impact on revenues, jobs and taxes from bars and other adult establishments that rely heavily on smokers for their clientele.”