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Tax on ciggies is ‘blood money’

Tax on ciggies is ‘blood money’

“After two violent dairy robberies in the past week, it is only a matter of time before someone is killed, and both Labour and National will be responsible”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The $1.7 billion per year in tobacco tax revenue collected by the Government each year is blood money, obtained by putting people’s lives at risk.

“Just $1.8 million of that revenue, or 0.1%, is directed to protecting dairy owners at risk of being robbed, assaulted, or even murdered.

“In 2016, the National Government put in place a punitive series of four annual tobacco tax increases. These tax increases are driving violent crimes.

“The Herald reported last October that there had been about 500 robberies of tobacco retailers in a 13 month period.

“Smokers already pay for the costs they impose on society. A 2007 report commissioned by tobacco control groups found that "smokers contribute considerably more in taxes than the net ‘economic costs’ to the rest of the community caused by their smoking” and that "no further increases in tobacco excise are justified”.

“ACT is calling on the Government, as part of Budget 2018, to direct 10 per cent of the revenue collected on tobacco to protecting vulnerable business owners,” says Mr Seymour.

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