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Govt wants to keep tobacco taxes: Peters

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/05/2016

The government confirmed in last week's budget that tobacco tax would continue to increase at 10 per cent a year for the next four years. © Getty Images The government confirmed in last week's budget that tobacco tax would continue to increase at 10 per cent a year for the next four years. 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 per cent 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 per cent a year for the next four years.

And on Tuesday it released draft regulations for plain packaging.

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

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