We’re all going to die, actually, many of us already have. In fact, I think my life is going to be rather short compared to others but regardless of that, Betty Gobin owns a small tanning salon business.
One day it was worth $280,000, now, after last year’s announcement to ban commercial tanning salons in the ACT, it’s worth nothing. Now before all of the do-gooders get up on their high horses, let me explain the situation.
Betty is the sole income provider for her family, and has invested her life and money into her business. She has paid her own way in life, is not reliant on Government, and has paid a lifetime of taxes. Betty is a senior citizen, and now her retirement has been taken away from her… swiftly and without compensation.
Since 2010 numerous regulations have been imposed on the industry in the ACT, and in the interests of public health and safety, of course, this is an industry that needs to be regulated. Betty has willingly complied with Government imposed regulations at her own expense. In order to comply, Betty has borrowed thousands of dollars, and as with any small business, she has complied with imposed regulations on the understanding and assurance that her trade would be able to continue. If the ban is to take effect as planned by the end of the year, Betty will have no way of paying for her lease, to which she is bound until November 2015.
In a cold letter written to Betty, reminding her of the ‘impending ban on commercial tanning units’, the ACT’s Director of Health Protection Service John Woollard has stated that Betty may be eligible for a payment of $1,000 for each tanning bed surrendered; Betty has paid on average about $11,000 per tanning bed, and she owns five of them. Furthermore, the letter states that Green Sheds Pty Ltd holds a ‘license to dispose of tanning units, and offers free removal of tanning units’. After making four separate enquiries today to Green Sheds Pty Ltd, it is clear that they are completely unaware and unclear of Woollard’s claims. And what would they do with them – sell them somewhere else?
Tanning yourself to a crisp is bad for you – I get it. But saying that there is no safe level of exposure to tanning beds is like saying there is no safe level of exposure to the sun. Are the prohibitionists going to ban the sun? I’m sure they would if they could.
When Governments prohibit the behaviour of personal choice, instead of opting to tax and regulate, the consequences are almost always the opposite to the intent of the policy. As most Governments move towards the prohibition of the small industry, tanning beds are being sold privately like hotcakes across Australia. It isn’t illegal to have a tanning bed in one’s house.
So once again, in the great Australian tradition of politicians trying to alter personal freedoms, Governments will create an unregulated and underground market. If you look hard enough on the internet you will find young girls who have regular tanning parties in their homes. Is it the Government’s policy to have children and people with fair skin using tanning beds? Well, if it isn’t, don’t prohibit the industry. Or, is it the Government’s plan to waste police resources on hunting down and punishing the little grilled goblins?
There are always casualties with freedom, but there are always more casualties with prohibition.
It’s the do-gooding b*stards that believe they champion oppressed minorities, when in fact they are running society and restricting the liberties of a supposedly free citizenry.
I say to the decision makers of the ACT, if you are hell-bent on prohibiting yet another business, at least give Betty some decent compensation.