Peters: Govt wants to keep tobacco taxes

  • 01/06/2016
New Zealand First Party leader Winston Peters
New Zealand First Party leader Winston Peters

The Government would ban tobacco if it was serious about public health but it won't because it reaps $1.6 billion a year in tax, Winston Peters says.

"In New Zealand the price of a packet of cigarettes is made up of 80 percent taxes - that's just a greedy Government hammering a legal product," the NZ First leader said.

"They are deluding people - it's not about public health it's all about the taxation dollars the Government wants to flood into the public kitty."

Mr Peters says the Government collects $1.6b a year through tobacco tax and it will rise to $1.8b in 2020.

The Government confirmed in last week's Budget that tobacco tax would continue to increase at 10 percent a year for the next four years.

And yesterday it released draft regulations for plain packaging.

Mr Peters says it's "just another attack on working people".