Family First Senate Candidate Rod McGarvie supports Senator Bob Day’s attack on the major parties for further taxing smokers, agreeing it’s ‘nothing more than a tax grab’.
In a Youtube video, Senator Day explains that Labor and the Liberals don’t care about smokers’ health when they raise taxes. “They know smokers are addicted and will keep paying, no matter what the price,” Senator Day said.
Both major parties intend to raise cigarette taxes by 12.5% per annum over four years, raising the cost of a single packet of cigarettes from $25 to $40 by 2020.
“Since the start of the campaign, and as of Tuesday, the Coalition ‘spend-o-meter’ stood at $3.3 billion, and Labor’s was $12 billion. The smoking tax raid is expected to raise $4.7 billion. Smokers will fund the major parties’ disgusting pork-barrelling.”
“We know that smokers already pay taxes that exceed their cost burden on the health system. More tax is a sneaky raid on those who can least afford it.”
Senator Day also made it crystal clear that:
1. Family First does not accept donations from the tobacco industry;
2. Family First supports the prior levels of tobacco taxation – today’s announcement is opposition to the even higher levels proposed by the major parties;
3. Family First acknowledges the dangers of smoking and warns people not to take up smoking. Governments have a role to play in encouraging smokers to quit smoking and existing policy anti-tobacco measures. The Labor and Liberal tax-grab is about taxing those addicted to smoking already and, in many cases, trying to quit.
4. Family First has been advocating for government support for innovative programs that help people quit smoking.
Rod McGarvie, Senate Candidate Family First