Saturday, 28 July 2012

Dept of improbable headlines: Winston Peters is right

He [Peters] told the committee that new levies on cigarettes would "thump the pockets" of poor Maori.
"I wonder how many Maori are behind you on this issue?" he asked Maori Party vice-president Ken Mair, whose party was pushing the tax rises.
I've no particular reason to argue with the official estimates on the number of people killed by tobacco use, but Winston's right about the burden of the tax. As I'd summarised from the O'Dea report:
The O'Dea report said that even a 50% increase in tobacco prices would see 36,990 non-quitting Decile 1 households each spend an extra $928 per year while an estimated 4,110 quitting Decile 1 households would save $2,981; the poorest cohort then winds up spending a net extra $22 million in tobacco excise while decile 10 households spend a net extra $31 million.
O'Dea goes on to argue that because poorer people might then be less likely to take up smoking, the longer term effect could wind up being progressive. But it's pretty obvious that there would be rather strong negative effects on those households that continue to smoke.


  1. Doesn't that seem to be rather the point? Bash the poor into giving up smoking because they will be 'better off' in the long run.... However, if you are poor I very much doubt that there is much consideration of the 'long run'.

    Scarily that may mean that Winston is right (are we in bizzaro world now?)

  2. it was amazing, I was driving back to Christchurch as the cigarette legislation went through the house, I think nearly 100% votes.
    Not Roger Douglas though I think ACT saw the stupidity of it, but not mainstream, idiot politics.
    It would be good for Maori to pay so much for cigarettes Maori leaders said, because evidence proved that huge costs lowered cigarette smoking over all, and look gosh they were going to fund a nicotine withdrawal program.
    It was nonsense and it is part of the proof that politicians are particularly inept when it comes to drugs.
    I have heard people in the Act party calling for capital punishment for stuff I would not think twice about doing.
    Fags here for smoking in Thailand a few baht..
    Elsewhere on Eric's column , the price of booze.
    I can report that you can get a Myanmar 750 ml 40% whisky named M Hammer for 175 bahts. Thats $NZ 7 . seven dollars
    But if you insist on good quality whisky you can buy it , Platinum Johnie Walker, 3500 bahts, available at Tesco Lotus.
    Hours of purchase of alcohol allowed by Thailand Government in registered outlets are 11 am till 1pm, and then again 5pm till 11pm, unless you purchase more than 10 liters,
    and if you do this you can buy any time.
    I sidled up with 10 bottles of Black Label at 2pm, , and they said not enough, so I went back and added 5 bottles of red label, pass government drug test here.

  3. also Eric, it is not an improbable headline that Peters is right,
    wait for the outcome of asset sales
    wait for the back lash against NZ Govt,
    with a Labour party that doesn't know where to look next
    wait for the back lash against the pathetic EQC and Christchurch catastrophe,
    NZ First has 78% votes in the bag already,
    John Key is history, guarantee

  4. 78% means 7 toward 8%