Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Poor being hurt by Government’s tobacco taxes

The poorest New Zealanders are being hurt by the Government’s refusal to stop increasing tax on tobacco, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

In the March 2019 quarter, inflation rose six times faster for beneficiary households than the general population, mostly due to tobacco tax increases that took effect on 1 January, according to Stats NZ.

“Tobacco taxes are failing to reduce smoking levels. Despite virtually doubling the level of tax, smoking rates have fallen by only a few percentage points.

An EY report commissioned by the Government shows fewer than half of smokers have responded to tax increases by buying fewer tobacco products.

One cigarette cost about $1.50 in the March 2019 quarter, up from 54 cents a decade ago.

1 in 10 lower income households are going without the basics in order to buy tobacco.

The average smoker pays about $3800 in tobacco tax each year. That is money families could be spending on food and clothing. Tobacco taxes are taking food out of the mouths of some of the poorest children.

Tobacco makes up about 4.1 per cent of all spending for beneficiaries, compared with 2.5 per cent for all households.

“The Government says it is concerned about the cost of living, yet it continues these punitive tax increases.

“At the same time, onerous new restrictions on vaping have been announced, meaning fewer people will quit. The Government should be making it easier for people to switch to vaping.

Smokers already contribute far more in taxes than the costs to the rest of the community caused by their smoking. Further taxes simply punish people and represent a $2.2 billion tax revenue grab.

“The Government needs to quickly reverse this failing, regressive tax.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Reforming Parliament’s Toxic Culture

It would be nice to think Parliament was a forum where rationality ruled – and where policies are raised and evaluated in terms of their contribution to the greater good. Obviously, it isn’t like that... More>>

Historic Assualt Allegation: Parliamentary Service Staff Member Stood Down
Rt Hon Trevor Mallard said today: “I do not want to cut across any employment or possible police investigations, but I am satisfied that the Parliamentary Service has removed a threat to the safety of women working in the Parliamentary complex." More>>


Study: Guidelines Needed To Avoid Risks In Government AI

New Zealand is a world leader in government algorithm use – but measures are needed to guard against their dangers. This is the conclusion of a New Zealand Law Foundation-funded report from the University of Otago’s Artificial Intelligence and Law in New Zealand Project. More>>


Pike River: Families Welcome Opening Of Drift

The group representing 29 of the Pike River Families - the Pike River Family Reference Group - has welcomed the unsealing of the mine at a private family event this morning... More>>


Auckland Harbour Bridge: New Design For Walking And Cycling Crossing

The NZ Transport Agency has released plans for its preferred option for a shared path over the Auckland Harbour Bridge which will transform walking and cycling not only across the harbour, but throughout the city. The Transport Agency says its preferred ... More>>


Shaw First Reading Speech: Climate Change Response Bill

Madam Speaker, today we begin the task of amending the Climate Change Response Act [2002], to fulfil the commitment that we have made, as a country, to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. More>>


Housing: More Unsold Kiwibuild Houses Bought By Govt

The Crown underwrite for unsold Kiwibuild homes has been triggered for a second time. Now lack of sales in Mike Greer's development in Canterbury and Auckland means the government has had to buy back seven more homes. More>>


camouflageGordon Campbell: Why We Shouldn’t Genuflect To Security

Reportedly most (and possibly all) of the Royal Commission investigation into the Christchurch mosque shootings will be closed to the general public and to the media… More>>




InfoPages News Channels