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Smoking Tax Hike Morally Questionable

Smoking Tax Hike Morally Questionable

26 MAY 2016

The Taxpayers’ Union is labelling the Government’s decision to hike taxes on smokers by 10% per year for the next four years as morally questionable. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, says:

“Smokers already pay more than three times the health costs of their habit. Penalising people for voluntarily choosing damaging habit is morally questionable when the very people who pay are those who can least afford it. But governments always ‘need’ more money and public health is a convenient excuse.”

“The socioeconomic make up of tobacco consumers means that these higher taxes land on those who can least afford it. It means the Budget is giving with one hand but taking with the other.”

“As we’ve pointed out numerous times, if the Government was genuine about reducing smoking rates — and it not also being influenced by the extra tax dollars — why hasn’t it legalised e-cigarettes, which are estimated by Public Health England to be at least 90% harmful and are Britain’s number one smoking cessation tool?”

The Taxpayers’ Union research paper on tobacco excise tax, Passive Income, How the government uses smokes as cash cows, is available at: http://taxpayers.org.nz/passive_income


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