Poor­est pay dearly

The Northland Age - - Nation -

ACT leader David Sey­mour says the poor­est New Zealan­ders are be­ing hurt by the gov­ern­ment’s re­fusal to stop in­creas­ing tax on to­bacco. In the March 2019 quar­ter, in­fla­tion rose six times faster for ben­e­fi­ciary house­holds, mostly due to to­bacco tax in­creases, ac­cord­ing to Statis­tics NZ. “To­bacco taxes are fail­ing to re­duce smok­ing lev­els. De­spite vir­tu­ally dou­bling the level of tax, smok­ing rates have fallen by only a few per­cent­age points,” Mr Sey­mour said. “One cig­a­rette cost about $1.50 in the March 2019 quar­ter, up from 54 cents a decade ago, and one in 10 lower-in­come house­holds are go­ing with­out the ba­sics in or­der to buy to­bacco.”

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