NZ to pay approximately R300 for cigarettes

2016-05-26 11:33
Cigarettes. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Cigarettes. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Wellington - Smokers in New Zealand will pay $20 for a pack of cigarettes under the government's budget plan released on Thursday. Polluting industries will also get hit with higher taxes.

In its annual budget, the government forecasts that rising fiscal surpluses in coming years will allow it to begin paying down its public debt.

The government plans to hike tobacco taxes by 46% over the next four years as it continues an ambitious campaign to eliminate smoking from the South Pacific nation by 2025. Once the taxes are in place, a pack of 20 cigarettes will cost about 30 New Zealand dollars ($20), one of the highest prices in the world.

Indigenous Maori have relatively high smoking rates, and the tax plan was pushed by the Maori Party. Te Ururoa Flavell, the party's co-leader, said it was the right thing to do, even if cost his constituents more money.

"What I do know is that there are so many of our young women, because research tells us that, who are dying because of cancer," he said. "I'm happy in my heart. If I can save more than one life, I would have done my job."

Read more on:    new zealand  |  health

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