If anyone still doubts this government has well and truly lost its moral compass, there can be no clinchier clinching argument than its wilful tax targeting of the virtuous and its woeful willingness to let the guilty go tax free.

Good people buy insurance. It’s something everyone should do. People need encouragement to buy more of it (why, incidentally, is it that only motor insurance is compulsory – what about home insurance, pet insurance, alien abduction insurance?), not penalisation in the form of IPT.

Smoking is bad, and quite rightly it’s taxed to the hilt. But not enough people sadly now smoke to fund an entire state machine. Dying is bad, making money is bad, and buying stuff’s none too good either, and those all bring in much needed tax take.

But obesity, stupidity, and gambling go unpunished, and insured folks, through no fault of their own, are forced to pay the price. Insane Punishment Tax, a report by the Social Market Foundation (SoMaFo) has just revealed, raises around £5 billion a year for Her Majesty’s Trouserury, that’s an average £180 per UK household.

And it’s good people who’re picking the tab up. Premium dodgers are getting away, quite literally, scot free. That’s probably why people’s champions the ABI have urged HMG to call off its “raid on the responsible” and concentrate on levying so-called ‘sin taxes’ by targeting those who, quite frankly, deserve a good taxing.

On the plus side, around half of those surveyed by SoMaFo had never even heard of IPT, so whatever pain it’s causing them, it must be more of an all-over dull ache than a sharp pain somewhere in particular.

All the same, Insane Punishment Tax seems a pretty dubious way to raise revenue.

Maybe they could tax Google or Apple instead.


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