Repeal the tobacco tax now!
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Excessive excise on tobacco is hurting all of us smokers but particularly low income smokers. Most addicted smokers will not give up, they will go to the black market and / or cut back on other essentials. Now that the government is talking about doubling the unfair taxes on a minority group, we have to protest. I know most smokers don't think we have rights, propaganda has shamed many of us into silence or just taking our 'lumps', but unless the government is going to make tobacco illegal, which they won't because they won't kill the 'cash cow', we do have a right to protest this proposed doubling of the cost of a packet of cigarettes. At roughly $20 for a packet of 20 currently, we are at about 4 times the cost of cigarettes in USA and Europe and the government is planning to double it again to $40 per pack! I propose we fight to have the excise repealed back to $10 a packet, double the price of other Western countries and halving what we are currently paying. I think most smokers would switch back from black market products if the price went back to reasonable, hence increasing the tax revenue.
Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm has given all the facts and figures about smokers paying at least 17 times more than the healthcare and bushfire related costs in tobacco excise so we are being ridiculously and unfairly taxed for being adults who chose to use a legal product.
If you think the government is doing this for our own good, think again. Making ALL tobacco products ILLEGAL in Australia, including the upper class cigars, would be the only way I'd believe it. No, it's just about revenue raising and the 82% majority of non-smokers don't care what we have to pay. Here's an idea, make marijuana legal and tax the sales like they are doing in Colorado USA. Takes it out of the hands of criminals and everybody making money from it legally, will be paying taxes too. Plus the added bonus that our police will have more time to chase the ice dealers. I'm not a 'dope' but I am sick of paying excessive tax on my legal cigarettes.
I also propose that the plain paper packaging law be repealed, it does not work to curb smoking but it has opened the door to counterfeit, low quality tobacco being sold as premium.
And while I'm on my soap box, I want the federal government to stop allowing local governments and councils to infringe on private property owners rights. If restaurant, cafe or hotel owners want to have a smokers area, they should be allowed to. Again, unless tobacco is made illegal, it should be legal to smoke it with common sense consideration, as in not around children and in confined areas with non-smokers without good ventilation or extractors.
And one more thing, it is totally unfair that people leaving Australia can buy a carton of cigarettes but cannot bring a carton into Australia, just 50 cigs. Now come on!!
I'm sick of these invasive, nanny-state laws which are really about raising revenue. I love my visits to Nevada and Germany where you are not treated like a leper for smoking, but a welcome guest. Ahh the absolute pleasure at being allowed to eat, drink and smoke in a restaurant like in my photo above :-)
So my final word to the current and future Australian government, we are a minority but our votes count and the Liberal Democrats are looking good!
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