Fredericton — The Gallant government has raised taxes on cigarettes effective Feb. 1, collecting $6.25 per 25-pack, not including HST. Smokers are outraged at the news, calling it an unfair tariff on their addiction.
The Liberals, for once, have listened to their constituents, and are implementing a similar tax on all bad habits — not just smoking.
“I’ll admit that smokers are such an easy target that it’s difficult not to bully them into funding our social programs,” beamed an annoyingly healthy-looking Brian Gallant. “But it’s hard to ignore the fact that most New Brunswickers have lots of ungainly habits that could be taxed. So we’re going to tax drinking — even more so — and junk food, nail-biting, gossiping, nose-picking, wasting time on Facebook, obsessively checking your phone, cracking your knuckles, speaking with your mouth full, swearing, watching reality TV: you name it, we’ll find a way to bleed you dry for it.”
The first tax will be added to sugar and trans fats; this means the price of products like Storm Chips is set to double or even triple before winter’s end. “Look, what does a bag of chips go for these days… $20? $30?” asked Gallant. “I have no idea; I don’t eat anything like that because my body is a temple. And people buy so much beer… surely they can just stop drinking and start going to the Y, like me. I personally find working out to be much more addictive than drinking Alpine, and I fail to see how anyone could disagree with me.”
New Brunswickers we spoke with were appalled that their favourite luxuries are going up in price, while their minimum wage remains static. “They can’t just keep us working for slave wages and then turn around and charge us two hours’ pay for chips,” moaned Weldon Allen of Fredericton. “I don’t really mind paying more for smokes, but my Smoke’s poutine after a night at the bars?? How much is that gonna run me?! It’s highway robbery, I tell ya.”
Gallant said he’s enlisting his right-hand man Donald Arseneault to police the province’s less noticeable bad habits. “Don is a man of the people,” Gallant said while flossing his pearly white teeth. “He has so many nasty habits himself that he’ll be able to spot them a mile away, and ticket people indulging their compulsions. With all that new money coming in, I’ll finally be able to say I did something good for this province in my time as premier.”
We asked how the province can really enforce their new legislation. “My main man Don will have a ticket pad and he’ll just walk around — he could stand to lose a few pounds, between us — and observe New Brunswickers in their natural habitat, doing whatever it is they do. He’s a smart guy and I’m sure he’ll choose a fair fine based on the particular offense. Geez, could you just trust us for once? We really do have your best interests at heart — just like the smokers do.”