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Source: Taxpayers Union

Law changes treat the symptoms, not the cause of tobacco black market
The Customs and Excise (Tobacco) Amendment Bill that came into effect Wednesday barring the import of tobacco products without a permit is putting a band aid on the gaping wound that is the tobacco black market, caused by extortionate tobacco excise taxes, Taxpayers’ Union spokesperson Jordan Williams says.”From the Ministry of Health to Winston Peters, the Government has admitted that the excise tax on tobacco is no longer working to reduce smoking rates. What is clear is the tax is doing more harm than good by encouraging the black market demand of tobacco, robberies of dairies and adding more work for Customs officials.””According to new KPMG analysis, illicit tobacco now makes up 11.5% of tobacco consumption in New Zealand – up from 9.5% in 2017. Adding more legal complexity is not going to address the real driver of this black market, which is the absurdly high excise tax. The Government needs to look at the problem objectively, instead of being blinded by the $1.9 billion in tax revenue.”