• Germany edition
 
Booze and butts a human right, drug commissioner says
Photo: DPA

Booze and butts a human right, drug commissioner says

Published: 09 Sep 2010 10:25 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 Sep 2010 10:25 GMT+02:00

“Clearly there is room for luxury items in benefits for the long-term unemployed,” Dyckmans told Dresden daily Sächsische Zeitung.

The pro-business Free Democrat said that those who believe Hartz IV welfare recipients shouldn’t be able to drink and smoke is “simply being populist.”

But temperateness remains an important factor, she said.

“From a health perspective every person – including Hartz IV recipients – should not smoke and only drink moderately,” she told the paper.

Dyckmans also rejected the recent suggestions to increase taxes on cigarettes.

“Regarding the tobacco tax we first need to create a level playing field,” she said. “Many smokers have moved to fine-cut rolling tobacco and roll their own cigarettes now, because it’s cheaper due to the lower taxes.”

Instead of raising the tax on a pack of smokes, the government should instead insure that cigarette smuggling is reduced to insure that they are paid at all, she told the paper.

The goal of hiking taxes should not be filling government coffers, but rather creating an incentive for healthier living, she said.

DAPD/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

12:30 September 9, 2010 by William Thirteen
how about they just decide on the amount and let the individuals spend it as they will....
12:34 September 9, 2010 by auslanderus
so the Goverment says it's ok to drink beer and will pay for it....How will that side when that person kills someone while driving drunk? Will the Goverment say sorry? What about getting cancer from smokeing, will they also say sorry?
13:29 September 9, 2010 by freechoice
yeah what about our rights to fresh air and not be assaulted by drunkards?
15:18 September 9, 2010 by MichaelMolenaar
Why not have welfare for wine, chocolate, fancy cars, golf trips, new computers, or a new television?

After all, they've EARNED it.

RIGHT GUYS? RIGHT?
18:57 September 9, 2010 by William Thirteen
i love how unfortunates become everyone's scapegoat...
19:57 September 9, 2010 by Bishopbayern
unfortunates? lazy articles more like. If they want luxury then they can work for it!
23:57 September 9, 2010 by wxman
If you're living on the dole, you aren't "entitled" to anything.
02:49 September 10, 2010 by sorochin
Finally a government official with a brain. Frau Dyckmans for Bundeskanzler!
08:20 September 10, 2010 by Keith_F
You have got to be kidding me. "little indulgences were a human right", only if you can afford them. Beer and Cigarettes are a luxury item, and if you can't afford it....you should not have it. There really needs to be a line drawn somewhere. Frau Dyckmans sounds like she is searching for the Hartz IV vote. Wake up Germany!
07:34 September 24, 2010 by JohnPaul44
This makes good economic sense to me. A Dutch study a few years ago showed that, since most medical costs come in the later years of life, if smokers actually did die 7 years soon than non-smokers, the resulting saving in old-age medical costs would exceed any alleged costs to society due to smoking. Economics is economics, folks! Now let's make sure they get plenty to eat, become obese, and die of that, which kills far more people than smoking.
Today's headlines
Man shot in tax office dispute
DPA

Man shot in tax office dispute

A tax office worker in the Schleswig-Holstein town of Rendsburg died in hospital after being shot on Monday morning. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg
Berlin and Hamburg mayors Klaus Wowereit and Olaf Scholz on Monday. Photos: DPA

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg

Germany's capital and its gateway to the North Sea each released details of their Olympic bids on Monday as the race for the 2024 or 2028 summer games nominations picks up momentum. READ  

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria
Photo: DPA

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria

Six people were infected with a bacteria from the Caribbean which has made itself at home in the popular German vacation destination. One of them is now in a coma. READ  

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees
DPA

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees

UNHCR Commissioner Antonio Guterres is lauding Germany's role in accommodating the influx of refugees in Europe, while pointing at the imbalance of effort within the EU. The federal government has pledged to do more. READ  

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome
Photo: DPA

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome

Starting on Monday, vacuum cleaners drawing more than 1600 watts can no longer be brought into Germany. The ban is part of a an EU-wide environmental protection measure. READ  

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote
CDU leader Stanislav Tillich with SPD Martig Dulig. Photo: DPA

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic (CDU) party is in search of a new partner after the expulsion of its former allies the Free Democrats (FDP) from the Saxon state parliament. READ  

Presented by Phorms Education
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation
Photo: Phorms Education

Bilingual education from nursery to graduation

A network of German based schools is changing how students learn languages by introducing English and Deutsch from day one, with the method yielding impressive academic results. The Local finds out more about Phorms Education. READ  

JobTalk Germany
'German bosses need to praise more'
More of this? Photo: Shutterstock

'German bosses need to praise more'

What do German bosses need to do to get more out of their staff? Frankfurt-based business consultant Justin Bariso has this advice. READ  

Train drivers take their turn to strike
A banner announcing a previous rail strike in June is displayed in a station. Photo: DPA

Train drivers take their turn to strike

A train drivers' union has warned of a nationwide strike to take place on Monday evening as it seeks leverage in negotiations with Deutsche Bahn. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,430
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd