Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Taxpayer's alliance utterly abandons the interest of taxpayers on heroin prescription issue.

The taxpayers alliance aren't representing me with this article. Are they representing you?

Here is my comment in response to the blog post that I have posted on their website:
There are several problems with your arguments against prescription. Firstly, not including the criminal act of taking heroin, nearly all of heroin addicts' crimes will be acquisitive crimes to fund the drugs that will cost them around £400-£600 per week. If you reduce the cost of this habit to zero, you remove the need to commit crime to fund it and so are likely to greatly reduce your criminal activity. Yes, some will still occasionally commit crime, but I suspect this is only because they have been driven to break the moral taboo of criminal activity by the inflated costs of prohibited heroin. Simple economics of scale should reduce rapidly the £15000 per year cost of the scheme if it were expanded. If the cost is what you object to, why do you not suggest solutions to this? Finding alternative sources of heroin, direct purchase of opium from Afghan farmers for example, would greatly reduce costs. Can we not exempt addictive drugs from free prescription charges and allow the addict to at least partially fund their provision?
If heroin prescription is expanded to all users who currently commit acquisitive crime to fund their habit, there is the potential to reduce domestic burglaries by 80% and bring two thirds of street prostitutes off the street corners. Billions could be cut from criminal justice costs, not counting the massive benefits to the taxpayer of being freed from the fear of crime that addicts currently create by their actions.
Your shortsightedness on this issue is massively failing the interests of the taxpayers you claim to represent.


Mark Reckons said...

Ewan, this is great. I wish I had time to follow it up with a blog post of my own but I'm mad busy at the moment.

However I have tweeted a link to it and also tweeted Mark Wallace (@wallaceme), head of the TPA asking him why he thinks it's appropriate for the TPA to now be moralising on behalf of the taxpayer about something that would actually save them money overall.

Foregone Conclusion said...

They're overreaching, aren't they? I thought that they were supposed to be (yet another) economically right-wing pressure group/think tank, but they're behaving like the reserve regiment of the Conservative Party with this kind of social conservatism. A lot of people might agree with their views on fiscal prudence but disagree on this.