I totally agree. They could also increase VAT on luxury items ( $100k+ cars, jewelry, luxurious flats, some imported goods, imported fruits and vegetables etc.) and decrease it on necessities ( bread, milk, local dairy, local fruits and vegetables, etc.). This way they would be benefiting the local economy, reducing the strain on the low-income class, and making the high income class pay for the luxuries they choose to buy. It is only fair.
I also strongly agree on that cigarettes should be sold at like $10 or $15 a pack, even more. People smoke, get sick because of smoking, and finally get hospitalized on the government’s expense. Increasing the price of the cigarettes would bring the following benefits:
1. Smokers would be indirectly paying the price of their treatment to the government, as they choose to smoke and get sick despite all the warnings.
2. The construction workers would stop smoking too as they will no longer be able to afford it. (they could stay healthy, and more productive and efficient. They already put their lives at risk, no need to further increase this risk because of smoking)
3. Less cigarette buds would be thrown on the streets.
4. Smokers will THINK twice before smoking.
5. Passive smoking would be automatically reduced.
6. This would be a strong incentive for smokers to stop smoking.
And no, smuggling cigarettes from Syria would not increase due to the increase in the price of legal cigarettes in Lebanon. Syria is f’d up now, i believe there are other priorities.