… or is it political elites covering their butts?
The government will be announcing a new law-enforcement program on Tuesday night.
The Turnbull government has unveiled a plan to recover billions of dollars being lost to federal coffers from a combination of undetected tobacco imports, illegal tobacco crops known as “chop chop” and a thriving black market in stolen, untaxed cigarettes.
Billions of dollars you say?
The government expects to increase revenue through a suite of new measures by $3.6 billion over four years.
Here is the Victorian Cancer Council talking about myths:
Plain packaging will make cigarettes easier to counterfeit and will increase the trade in illicit tobacco products such as “chop chop”
There is no evidence that plain packaging will lead to an increase in illicit trade in tobacco products. Tobacco industry claims about the amount of illicit tobacco purchased in Australia have been found to be exaggerated and misleading. The plain packaging legislation will allow tobacco companies to continue to use anti-counterfeit markings on their products.
Here is the World Health Organisation:
Myth: Tobacco tax and price differences between countries create an incentive for illicit trade in tobacco products.
Not exactly: There are other more important factors that encourage illicit trade, such as weak governance/lack of high-level commitment, weak customs and excise administration, corruption and complicity of cigarette manufacturers.
The World Health Organisation thinks Australia is corrupt!
But wait, there’s more: Noodle emails to draw my attention to this astonishing article in the Daily Telegraph.
BIG Tobacco is propping up its profits by sneakily raising cigarette prices way beyond increases in excise.
Cancer Council research reveals the pre-tax take on a pack of Winfield cigarettes has soared by nearly 150 per cent since 2010. For JPS smokes, the jump is more than 180 per cent. This compares to consumer price inflation (CPI) of just six per cent in that time.
Winnie Blues now cost $33.65 up from $12.95 at the start of the decade.
“It’s a dirty trick by these companies,” said Cancer Council Australia public policy director Paul Grogan. “They have been very clever at jacking up their profit margins substantially in excess of increases in excise duty.”
Yep – that’s the Cancer Council claiming that cigarettes are too expensive in Australia.