Cigarette taxes three times smoker healthcare costs

| December 31, 2015

A cigarette excise tax hike due to be imposed in New Zealand on January 1 will represent a “broken election promise”, according to a Newstalk ZB story quoting the executive director of the Taxpayers’ Union, Jordan Williams.

The story, which was relayed by the TMA, said the 10 percent excise increase was the last of a series of four annual increases.

The National Party stands accused of breaking an election promise because it apparently vowed not to raise taxes while it was in power.

Williams said cigarette excise tax was already three times what it should be to cover smoking-related healthcare costs.

He urged smokers to stock up on cigarettes before the end of the year.

At the other end of the scale, the End Smoking New Zealand chairperson Marewa Glover said that higher taxes would encourage smokers to quit the habit, and she urged the government to extend the series of annual tax increases.

But she suggested also that the government should ease electronic cigarette regulations, which currently ban the importation and sale of nicotine-containing e-liquids.

Category: Breaking News

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