Libertarianz leader Richard McGrath labelled the rise in tobacco excise tax a naked grab for money by the National and Maori Parties.
“Otherwise why should it pass this law overnight under conditions of ‘extraordinary urgency’?” he asked.
“This law change is not about Maori health, it’s about the asset-stripping of New Zealanders. The government needs to finance the deficit spending it believes will lift the economy, and this is the way it has chosen.”
“Ms Turia is naïve to think tobacco companies won’t consider dropping their profit margins – as they have in the past – so that any rise in the retail price of tobacco is mitigated,” he added.
“The taxes on tobacco already cover the costs of health care caused by smoking related illness, so this is simply an extraordinarily urgent sin tax – a punishment for doing things that don’t hurt anyone but which Nanny State doesn’t like you doing.”
“The Libertarianz Party believes it is not the government’s job to moralise about what people do in their spare time. The government’s job is to defend and uphold individual rights – including the right for New Zealanders to make choices that may be unhealthy for them, but which they should have the freedom to make all the same.”
“What will be next – a tax on couches and TV sets because the government thinks people should get out of their lounges more often? A tax on large sizes of clothing because Nanny thinks too many people are fat?”
“Increasing the sin taxes on tobacco will make the robbery of cigarettes from corner dairies even more lucrative; it is also another step toward total prohibition, which would hand the tobacco sales market to gangs of criminals, who already control the trade in other illicit drugs.”
“Despite the denials by politicians, smokers derive enormous pleasure from their chosen hobby. What right do politicians have to snuff out a source of pleasure for thousands of New Zealanders with an extraordinarily urgent law such as this?”
“Yes, there is no such thing as a free lunch – a lot of smokers will suffer health problems as a result of tobacco consumption – but then again, it is obvious that a lot of our current politicians have suffered the inevitable waistline-expanding consequences of gluttony.”
“Together with removing all taxes on tobacco – under extraordinary urgency, of course – the Libertarianz Party suggests privatizing the health system, to encourage individual responsibility and thrift and give people more control over how their money is spent. The savings in taxes paid on tobacco purchases could then be used to purchase other goods and services such as health insurance.”
“The government should butt out of people’s lives unless there is a clear and present threat to our freedom. Choosing to smoke does not threaten anyone’s freedom, and politicians should mind their own business – with extraordinary urgency.”
For more information, please contact:
Dr Richard McGrath
Phone: 027 322 2907
Email: [email protected]
Libertarianz: More Freedom, Less Government