29 APRIL 2019
New data from Stats NZ shows why the Government should focus on alternatives to tobacco to reach Smokefree 2025 rather than smash the poor, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says “Stats NZ data shows that the cost of living for beneficiaries grew at six times the average household rate. This was mostly driven by a single factor: tobacco excise hikes. Tobacco excise disproportionately punishes the poorest members of society, which is why the Government should focus on deregulating safer alternatives – like vaping – rather than continuing a programme of never-ending hikes to tobacco excise.”
“Further hikes to tobacco excise will simply worsen living standards for the most vulnerable, while encouraging a growing black market for tobacco which drives robberies and burglaries of dairies and convenience stores. The Government should take an evidence based approach and abandon the failed strategy.”
"The only winners from continued delays in deregulating smokefree products are tobacco companies - as fewer people make the switch - and politicians, who get the excise to spend. It is morally bankrupt."