It’s common to hear companies vilified for accepting tobacco money.
Most non-profits and political parties alike, shun the donations. Activists say the money is ‘tainted’ by tobacco. And these days few have the courage to antagonise the highly vocal politically correct brigade.
Rather hypocritically, the Australian government itself has no such compunctions.
Tobacco importers hit with more taxes
As the Australian Associated Press notes, tobacco importers will soon be forced to pay all duties and taxes at the border. This is expected to hand the federal government an additional $3.7 billion over four years.
The government’s ongoing war on tobacco smokers has seen the price of an average pack of cigarettes soar to $25. Future sin taxes will see this reach $40…or $14,600 per year for a pack a day smoker.
Little wonder then that the black-market supplies 15% or more of all cigarettes in Australia, according to a study by KPMG.
The government hopes this new legislation will help eat into the black market their policies have created. And they hope to secure more of the tobacco funds, tainted or not, for their own coffers.
The draft legislation is intended to ensure that from July 2019, importers will need to pay their tariffs before they can store their products onshore.
As the AAP reports, Trade Minister Steve Ciobo told parliament, ‘Thereby denying criminal groups the opportunity to obtain tobacco on which duty has not been paid.’
The legislation passed the lower house on Wednesday.