Home > Uncategorized > Tobacco groups blast Australia tax rise – FT.com

Tobacco groups blast Australia tax rise – FT.com

Tobacco groups blast Australia tax rise – FT.com.

Australia has announced plans to increase tobacco tax by 12.5% every year for the next four years, to the fury of tobacco companies.  The public health evidence base clearly shows that step change  tax increases are most effective at reducing smoking prevalence, and they should also limit the ability of the tobacco companies to raise the underlying price.

It will be interesting to see if other countries follow suit, either taxing at the retail level as in Australia, or hitting monopoly profits of the likes of Imperial Tobacco in the UK at the corporate level.  The latter might be particularly attractive to the UK Chancellor in the run up to the next general election, as like Australia he seeks additional revenue streams without risking alienating voters.  One doubts Lynton Crosby will be advocating this policy, but George Osborne harbours no doubts about the nature of tobacco companies, as his famous quote makes clear:

“One comes to the conclusion that you are either crooks or you are very stupid, and you do not look very stupid…”

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