25 SEPTEMBER 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The decision of the Tax Working Group to recommend no further increases in tobacco excise should be applauded, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
Taxpayers’ Union Economist Joe Ascroft says “We released a report in January – Up in Smoke – that highlighted the social costs of tobacco excise increases, and made similar submissions to the Tax Working Group. The evidence shows that recent excise increases have not been effective in helping people quit smoking, but have imposed regressive financial effects on the most vulnerable communities. That the Group acknowledged these regressive financial effects in their interim report is a step forward.”
“The Group also acknowledged the effect of tobacco excise hikes on ‘robberies and criminal activity’, which has been widely reported on, and was discussed in our report.”
“The Government must commit to following the evidence and ruling out tobacco excise increases in future. Any future changes to regulation should focus on increasing the availability of smokeless nicotine products and having an excise regime that accounts for relative differences in the harm associated with different tobacco and nicotine products.”
The Taxpayers’ Union report can be found at: https://www.taxpayers.org.nz/up_in_smoke