The Taxpayers’ Union brought racial disparities into considerations when he denounced the government’s New Year tax hike for smokers.
Hapai Te Hauora, an organisation which aims to increase opportunities to enjoy good health, got in on the act of questioning the latest tax increases, too.
It noted that tobacco prices were raised by just over 11 per cent on January 1, in the last of a series of annual tax-based price rises announced in the 2016 budget. A 25-pack of cigarettes will cost more than $40.
It’s enough to drive impoverished smokers to drink – or robbery.
Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, said tobacco tax from Māori was bringing more money into the government’s coffers than is paid in treaty settlements.
He described the increased tobacco excise tax as “a raid on the wallets of Māori”.
According to the data he brandished, the annual cost of tobacco tax to Māori is approximately $120 million more than the combined annual budget of the entire Vote Māori Development portfolio and the average annual amount spent on Treaty Settlements. He said:
“This is the inevitable result of charging the world’s highest income-adjusted rate of tobacco excise, and a huge proportion of smokers being Māori. Continue reading “The crippling tobacco tax is unfair to Maori and the poor – so what does Tariana Turia think about it now?”