Seymour Challenged To “Walk The Talk” On Tobacco Taxes

20 January 2017

New Zealand First is calling on the MP, David Seymour, to ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to tobacco excise taxes given he voted with the government to increase them.

“Mr Seymour has been caught blowing his puppy whistle again,” says the New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland, Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“While Mr Seymour rails against the tobacco excise tax in public, designed to curry favour with the working man and women in the street, he voted with this National government to increase them.

“Mr Seymour needs to prove he can walk the talk and that means opposing National when it comes to using excise taxes on tobacco and fuel as a fiscal ATM machine. 

“Ever higher excise taxes breed illegality, whether that’s dairy robberies I see in Northland to encouraging tobacco smuggling.  We’ve hit ‘peak tax’ when it comes to tobacco.

“National’s dirty little secret that not even Mr Seymour has raised is the reprehensible way excise taxes on goods like tobacco, alcohol and fuel, right through to research levies and the rates paid by homeowners, are all double-taxed by being subject to GST. 

“Just the GST on top of tobacco excise taxes in the 12-months to October 2016 generated a smidgeon under $263m.  This double-taxation is a rort and if Mr Seymour had the strength of his convictions, then he would join with New Zealand First to end them,” Mr Peters said.

Examples of double-taxation in the 12-months to October 2016

Item subject to GST

Revenue (Ex. GST)

GST Generated

Tobacco excise

$1.753bn

$262.95m

Fuel excise

$1.915bn

$287.95m

Road User Charges

$1.403bn

$210.45m

Alcohol excise

$956m

$143.40m

All Council Rates

$5.315bn

$797.25

Sources are Treasury Tax Outrun Data Monthly History (as of 6 December 2016) and Stats NZ Infoshare Local Government Income (Actual) June 2016