In a shock move, the Government has this evening taken Parliament into extraordinary urgency to pass a bill increasing tobacco excise tax by more than 33 percent over two years.
Tax on roll-your-own tobacco will also increase by 50 per cent over two years.
The Government expects the bill will be passed into law tonight with the price increases taking immediate effect.
“The move will put the price of cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco up enough to save hundreds of lives,” said Associate Minister of Health Tariana Turia.
What will next week bring? Vitamin C as a class A drug? Ketamine in the drinking water? Anything could happen! It’s exciting!
My guess is there’s some other form of regulation or excise coming up in the budget, and they’re passing this seperately so that English’s masterpiece isn’t referred to as ‘the calvinist/nanny state/whatever budget’ (I wouldn’t be suprised to see an excise tax on RTDs – maybe that’s it?)