Earlier this year, it became quite clear that both Labor and the Coalition were united on one specific savings measure: the taxation of ciggies. Yup, a big fat dart tax was part of the economic plan of both parties, and now it’s real.
It’s likely that smokers will be paying up to $40 a pack within four years after the legislation sailed through Parliament last night, thanks to a scheduled yearly bump in tax. It was a Coalition bill, but Labor supported it – unsurprising, given their own support for a similar measure.
During the debate, many Liberals backed a possible rethink of Australia’s current ban on nicotine e-cigarettes. James Paterson, the new Senator and a former heavy-hitter at free market think-tank the Institute of Public Affairs, argued strenuously, as it’s pretty clear he’s not keen on a bump in taxation full stop.
“We could in our lifetime see the end of conventional cigarette smoking and tobacco smoking and it could be replaced by a much safer alternative,” he told parliament.
“We have to look at very seriously whether or not we should legislate these products.”
Obviously vaping hasn’t seen a whole lot of research when it comes to longterm health effects – except by your mate Darren who walks around permanently swathed in a thick cloud of vape smog and reckons there’s a CIA conspiracy to keep the average vaper down.
But until that debate sorts itself out, you’ll prob be paying 40 big ones for a pack of darts.
Photo: Train Station.