Tax rise hits in September

Tobacco excise on cigarettes will rise 13 per cent on Friday 1 September from 62 to 70 cents per stick.

Excise on other tobacco products will rise 17 per cent from $771.60 to $901.39 per kilogram.

A 30 pack of Winfield Blues currently retailing for $32.50 will rise to $35.20. That’s a $2.70 price hike that will make poor, addicted smokers worse off.

The increase in excise on cigarettes reflects the last six months of wages growth plus an ad hoc 12.5 per cent increase.

The increase in excise on other tobacco products reflects these factors plus an additional 3 per cent lift so that their excise rate approaches the rate on cigarettes.

In addition, GST is imposed on both the cost of tobacco and the tobacco excise: a tax on a tax.

Tax will rise from 66 per cent of the price of cigarettes to 69 per cent.

Tax paid by smokers is at least 17 times the cost that smokers impose on other taxpayers via the health system.

The Government bans the sale of e‑cigarettes that contain nicotine, even though these are 95 per cent less harmful than cigarettes.

The extortionate taxation of tobacco, combined with the ban on e‑cigarettes and plain packaging rules, have generated a booming black market in untaxed, unregulated tobacco run by organised crime. This supports the pushing of drugs and illegal guns.

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