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Green Support For Cig Tax Hike Conditional

The Green Party is supporting the tax hike on cigarettes – which Green MP Sue Bradford has just described as “dangerously close to a tax on the poor” and which looks like it is designed to pay for the West Coast settlement – on the basis of an assurance provided that there will be money in the budget for cessation programmes for low income NZers.

A spokesman for Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fittzsimmons says she spoke to Finance Michael Cullen earlier today and he has assured her he will look very seriously at providing some funding for quit smoking programmes for people on low incomes in the next budget.

The government required Green Party support in order to move extraordinary urgency to pass the measure this evening.


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