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Source: Taxpayers Union

4 MARCH 2021FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEResponding to Crown revenue figures showing a 47.8 percent drop in revenue from tobacco duty compared to the previous year, New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says:“It’s great to see New Zealanders quitting smokes and breaking free of painful tobacco taxes. Smokers are disproportionately low-income, and today’s figures suggest they collectively saved close to $700 million in tax, in just seven months.”“The Government ought to allow this trend to continue, but instead, new regulations currently being considered by the Director-General of Health threaten to keep New Zealanders on the durries.””The regulations would make vaping less appealing to smokers by weakening the nicotine strength and removing all but the most basic flavours from convenience stores.”“Submissions on the regulation close on 15 March. We’re encouraging vapers, smokers, and retailers to make their voice heard.”Submissions can be made at consult.health.govt.nz/tobacco-control/vaping-regulations-consultation/.“There is another, less positive reason for the drop in tobacco tax revenue,” says Mr Houlbrooke. “High taxes have driven many smokers to a growing black market.”A survey by KPMG suggests that smokers are increasingly favouring black market tobacco, with illicit products making up 11.5 per cent of tobacco products consumed in 2019 – up from 9.2 percent two years earlier.“Increased restrictions on vaping will make illegally imported cigarettes a more appealing option for smokers sick of paying the tax.”

MIL OSI