Recent years of grey market activity in Poland has taught us one thing – too often it is a result of increased taxes and excises and more tax controls in companies. These actions, unsurprisingly for people endowed with common sense, brought about results contrary to intentions. Therefore, I urge the new government not to follow this path! – writes President of Employers of Poland Andrzej Malinowski in “Rzeczpospolita”.
According to him, the fight to restrict the grey market is too important for the state and the economy for the baby to be thrown out with the bathwater yet again.
– The problem is that prompters will soon appear in new minister’s cabinets. Prompters are, obviously, quite secretive. They do not work through the media, are under no pressure to be present on TV. However, they are very experienced. Some know the halls of ministries like the back of their hands, regardless of who is currently in office. They have friends like themselves in the offices of the European Commission and other international agendas. They use mostly 3 words: collect, restrict, increase. It is thanks to them that the state is so successful in combating nicotine addiction – he assesses.
The President of Employers of Poland reminds that in 2011, 4.7 bln illegal cigarettes made their way to Poland. In 2013, there were 7.8 bln.
– In that time, despite increases, neither tobacco-related excise income, nor VAT income improved. So who was the beneficiary? Smugglers from Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia. Who lost? I did, you did, we all did – the state did – he adds.
– Early 20’s in the United States saw the introduction of one of the most overzealous ideological projects in history of Western civilization – the ban on alcohol production and sales. The objectives of prohibition were very noble. Not only was crime expected to drop, but the American society was also to become more productive and even morally better! You can see how that worked out when you watch classic gangster movies. They are a striking example of how the principle of unintended consequences works. May we avoid adding new chapters to this story – we have written more than enough already – concludes Andrzej Malinowski.