The Tax Payers' Alliance / ICM Poll's research (UK is tiring of Brown's stealth taxes, says poll - The Business 12/13 September) as to the possibility of a "fat tax", linked directly to dissuading a particular behaviour, raises interesting ethical issues. I believe that mainly the issue of passive smoking wins over the increasing restrictions and tax on smoking - one person's actions should not be detrimental to another's well being. The argument could have been pushed further, and maybe faster, had the government overtly linked smoking to use of NHS resources and the impact on other sick persons.
We at www.ethicalpricing.info believe that businesses as well as governments need to go beyond the yes/no poll questions and beyond the plain monetary transaction. They need to understand how consumers link prices to the actions taken by the business. Is their money spent wisely and responsibly? Are countries, groups and individuals exploited or disadvantaged, or are their lives enhanced? And, in an era of dynamic pricing, what is a fair price? For example, is it fair to hike the price of cold drinks in hot weather, or plywood in a hurricane? Only by knowing how consumers make these links can businesses confidently assert that their products and services are truly good, beneficial, value for money and ethical. Likewise for governments and taxes.
Strategic Business Analyst
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