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$1 Tax hike breaks election pledge

Tuesday 9th May 2000
Rodney Hide
Media Release -- Economy

ACT Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide said today that the Alliance-Labour Minority government’s shock $1 hike on cigarettes broke the Labour party’s pledge of no new taxes. “They never signalled this tax in the run-up to the election. They never signalled it at any stage this year. “There are two forces at work on this government’s attack on low income smokers. Number one force is Prime Minister Helen Clark’s drive to eliminate smoking totally. The second force is Michael Cullen’s desperate drive for cash. “Dr Cullen’s tax hike will raise an extra $270 million over the next three years. He needs every dollar he can lay his hands on. “This tax hike is theft by stealth. Helen Clark should have had the courage to announce the $1 hike on cigarettes before the election. “If this was just a health issue and not a revenue gathering exercise, the government would cut taxes elsewhere to compensate for the extra cash hauled in by this bombshell tobacco tax,” Mr Hide said. ENDS

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