5 DECEMBER 2018
The Government should rule out the mental health inquiry’s recommendation  to hike regressive alcohol excise taxes, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “With both the Tax Working Group and the Government’s mental health inquiry recommending changes to alcohol excise taxes, the 80 percent of adult New Zealanders who enjoy a drink ought to be concerned.”
“Like tax on fuel and tobacco, alcohol excise has a disproportionate impact on the budgets of low-income New Zealanders, leaving less money for food on the table.”
“The Government’s focus should be on improving mental health and addiction services. Those who push for excise tax hikes may intend to help addicts, but in practice, addicts respond the least to changes in price, while responsible drinkers are also hit hard. Making addicts and their families poorer may actually harm their mental health.”
 https://mentalhealth.inquiry.govt.nz/assets/Summary-reports/He-Ara-Oranga-report-30-November.pdf (page 174)