International Happiness Day: Potential UK tax on smiling?

teens-smilingToday is International Happiness Day.  it is also the UK Budget day where the Chancellor, George Osbourne will be declaring what is predicted to be the usual tax increase on cigarettes and alcohol, plus a possible tax on smiling at 1 pence a smile? We hope that the last idea does not come to fruition as (as we have pointed out it is International Happiness day).

So what happens today? And how did it come about?

The day recognizes that happiness is a fundamental human goal, and calls upon countries to approach public policies in ways that improve the well being of all peoples.

By designating a special day for happiness, the UN aims to focus world attention on the idea that economic growth must be inclusive, equitable, and balanced, such that it promotes sustainable development, and alleviates poverty. Additionally the UN acknowledges that in order to attain global happiness, economic development must be accompanied by social and environmental well being.


The initiative to declare a day of happiness came from Bhutan – a country whose citizens are considered to be some of the happiest people in the world. The Himalayan Kingdom has championed an alternative measure of national and societal prosperity, called the Gross National Happiness Index (GNH). The GNH rejects the sole use of economic and material wealth as an indicator of development, and instead adopts a more holistic outlook, where spiritual well being of citizens and communities is given as much importance as their material well being.

So just in case that there is a tax imposed on smiling we suggest to get in as many smiles as you can today to celebrate this day!