Tobacco Excise Proposal
Better New Zealand

Better New Zealand will remove the Excise Duty on tobacco

Excise Duty on tobacco was a minor way of raising government revenue until politicians and academics decided that increasing Excise Duty on tobacco would be an effective way of ending nicotine addiction.

The policy has failed.

Tobacco smoking remains unchanged among lower income groups. Excise Duty on tobacco has become one of the major causes of poverty in New Zealand.

The use of excise tax to tackle nicotine addiction has:

Better New Zealand's proposal to remove Excise Duty on tobacco will:

Better New Zealand says the reason for failure of the current policy was to mistake the elimination of the evident dangers of tobacco smoking with the elimination of nicotine addiction.

Tobacco smoking is a serious threat to the health of New Zealanders.

As part of its health proposal Better New Zealand will:

Nicotine is as harmful as caffeine.

The aim of this policy is to change the means by which nicotine addicts obtain their nicotine. Excise tax takes over one billion dollars from the pockets of the less well off. An electorate like East Coast has 15,000 smokers paying $70 million dollars for no purpose.

The poverty caused by using Excise Duty as a means of dealing with nicotine addiction is clear in the following tables

Income and Benefit Level

Weekly Income

Income Tax

Remainder after Income Tax

Excise Duty on Tobacco

GST on Excise Duty

Total Tobacco Excise & GST on Excise

Remainder after GST on Excise, Excise & Income Tax

Single Beneficiary 25 and over
















Minimum wage (April 1)








Wage $40,000








Wage $50,000








Average Wage $57,304








Income and Benefit Level

Yearly Income

Income Tax per Year

Income after Income tax

Tobacco Excise Duty & GST on Excise

Tobacco Excise and GST on Excise as % of after tax income

Single Beneficiary 25 and over












Minimum Wage (Post April 1)






Wage $40,000






Wage 50,000






Average Wage $57,304






A beneficiary who smokes a pack a day is left with $47.35 dollars a week, $6.76 a day to pay for power, food, and other necessities.
A person on the minimum wage has $10.27 per hour left after Excise Tax.

Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of emphysema, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Changing to other means of obtaining nicotine will change this.

Excise Duty plunging people into stress and poverty will not.

Better New Zealand will provide the facilities for nicotine addicts to switch to almost harmless means of obtaining nicotine and help those who wish to give it up.

We will remove one of the greatest causes of poverty in New Zealand, Tobacco Excise Duty.