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Tobacco Tax Take Affects People, Not Fat Cats

Tobacco Tax Take Affects People, Not Fat Cats

Responding to the NZ Herald report, British American Tobacco pays $1.1 billion in excise duty, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:

“It’s interesting how you can frame a story in different ways. The clinical, business-section coverage of this story would make you think excise tax only affects boardrooms and fat cat corporates.”

“The article should have focused on the smokers and their families who actually pay the regressive excise taxes. A significant amount of the tax take has come straight from the dining table as smokers sacrifice essentials to afford their habit. The government has known for years that hiking tobacco taxes has stopped working in getting people to quit and that poorer socio-economic groups are going without. The poorest New Zealanders are effectively being used as cash cows to line Government books.”

“The excise tax take now equals around 2% of government revenue. The fact revenue remains so strong proves how tax hikes have failed to end smoking. For the sake of a disproportionately struggling group, we need to abandon the tax hikes and let smokers make better choices. That’s why the Taxpayers’ Union is campaigning to fix the regulations around smokeless products like vapes, snus, and heated tobacco.”


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