Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Toast To Madness

From the house of sober second thought, a modest proposal for the inebriated to help the insane:

Canadians should pay a nickel a drink to help the mentally ill, says the Senate social affairs committee.

After three years' work and consultation, the committee is calling on the government to invest half a billion dollars annually in support and housing for people with mental illness, paying for it with a tax on alcoholic drinks.

In a report Tuesday, the committee recommended the creation of a national agency to help the mentally ill, and 57,000 affordable housing units for people living with mental illness.

"The stories we heard moved us to tears," said Liberal Senator Michael Kirby, chair of the committee.

"They also angered us because it shows clearly how little governments have done over the years for people living with a mental illness.

Smokers underwrite their costs to the health care system through tobacco taxes. Since many of the mentally ill are also alcoholic, taxing liquor to pay for their treatment seems only fair, in a way, although the non-insane and non-alcoholic among us will carry much of the cost for them.

But one wonders whether such a tax will be aimed at the real heart of the problem: the mental health professionals who have decided that all but the most uncontrollably insane can be dumped on the streets with a reminder to take their pills, and the social-welfare enablers who believe that letting these poor folk beg on the streets is more dignifying than treating them in hospital.

Source: Toronto Star


Mark Ferguson said...

where's the difference in taxing gambling. It's sin tax. Personally, I wish they taxed harder those myriad people that hold you up when you're in a line up to pay for something while they scratch & sniff(sorry "win")

Paul MacPhail said...

I'll drink to that.

SouthernOntarioan said...

Do you think that they are trying to do alcohol what they did to tobacco? Decrease consumption through increased taxation.

The 2006 Budget already increased taxes on those things, so what other reason could there be to increase them again?

Either way though, as a non-drinker and a non-smoker and a non-gambler... I can't say I mind.. lol...