Consumers made to pay for government sins

Is this government becoming broke and hatching a new "sin tax" plan to force allegedly sinful consumers like us to pay more? I couldn't help but raise this speculation with a friend over possible price hikes in alcohol, cigarettes and coffee, when new excise tax rates take effect this Saturday.

Driven by its divine mission to discourage people from drinking and smoking, the nanny state of Thailand has repeatedly increased alcohol and cigarette taxes, dubbed sin taxes, for years. Consumers have been forced to bear the brunt of increasingly expensive beer, wine, liquor and cigarettes.

The Excise Department has defended its latest tax regulation, saying this is not an attempt to increase the government's revenue. Given that the state's tax collection has fallen below its targets in recent years while the regime's spending on military hardware and weapons have been growing, I'm not convinced.

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