24 Jun 2013
Getting there: A step-by-step guide to asking for a tax or price target
9. Congratulate the government when you win
Governments, just like everyone else, like a pat on the back when they do something right.
When you do get an announcement about a tax target (or even a tax increase), don’t forget to issue a press release congratulating the government for its courage in protecting public health, with the usual key arguments about the importance of higher tobacco taxes for reducing consumption and prevalence.
Whether you think the government actually deserves this praise or not is irrelevant. If the result is a tax target or tax increase that will reduce tobacco use, praising the government publicly strengthens your hand the next time you ask for a tobacco tax increase.5
It might be very tempting to highlight how hard you had to work to convince the government, but this probably won’t win you any friends other than within your own organization. Take the high road and give the government credit, stating only that you support the policy measure, and that you look forward to supporting the government in future similar policy steps in the future.