Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is making a panicked ”tax grab” to pay for his addiction to spending, according to critics of his plan to ensure Australia becomes a world leader in “tobacco control.”
Mr Rudd unveiled yesterday a four-pronged strategy designed to reduce tobacco use but denied it was a smokescreen to divert attention from the debate over the Government decision to put off plans for an emissions trading scheme.
Smokers would pay $2.16 more for a 30-pack of cigarettes from today after the Government decided to raise the excise by 25 per cent.
The move was expected to encourage 87,000 Australians to quit smoking and generate $5billion over four years, helping to offset the cost of the Commonwealth’s reforms to the health and hospital system.
KevinÂ Rudd and Nicola Roxon announce a tobaccoÂ tax hike andÂ new laws to putÂ … tobacco companies have blasted KevinÂ Rudd’s new cigarette packaging plans, Â The Australian
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