Winston thinks there are more voters among smokers than fat bastards


NZ First leader Winston Peters has hit out at the rising price of tobacco as taxes are increased under the latest budget, saying obesity should be looked at first.

“Hiking tobacco taxes in the budget is just a lot of fat people sitting in their ivory towers telling smokers what to do.”

Mr Peters said the new taxes were making smokers feel “guilty”, and unfairly targeting them.

“The Government is ignoring the huge health problems we have with obesity and is picking on low-income people again – people who are not allowed to have any freedom to enjoy something that is legal without being hit hard in the pocket and made to feel guilty.

“This has nothing to do with supporting smoking; it’s about fairness and speaking up for people’s personal freedom.”

So what does Winston want to do? 

“If the Government was really concerned about the most worrying aspects of public health they would have policies to deal with the tsunami of obesity.

“This shows the gross hypocrisy of the Government. They want to have the country smoke-free by 2025; why not fat-free by 2025?

“The Government is charging multinationals less than half one per cent taxation while thumping smokers with a tax which will bring in $425 million over four years.

“What’s fair about that?”Taxpayers Union executive director Jordan Williams backed Mr Peters calls that raising tobacco taxes was an unfair measure.

“Winston Peters is right. These price increases will see kids go hungry.

“The only thing more addictive than smoking cigarettes is this Government’s addiction to the excise tax revenue.”

The interesting angle here is that the grossly excessive increases in excise tax on cigarettes was demanded by the Maori Party.  I can see why Winston would want to bring the Maori smokers on board.  And then he suggests the National should go after fat bastards.

Clever bastard.


– NZ Herald


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  • The Fat Man

    The joke is that increasing the TAX has not had any real impact on the level of smoking, it is an addictive substance.

    But in reality it is the Government that is addicted to the Tobacco excise TAX.

    It is like putting up the petrol TAX, people may buy smaller fuel efficient cars but they don’t stop driving cars.

    If the solution to a problem is to TAX it then you know it is a con.

  • Curly1952

    I have never smoked but I like an alcoholic drink be it beer, wine or gin. In some bars beer is now $10 for 600mls, wine over $12. I don’t like the prices but I still have a couple. It is my choice just as smoking – it is the users – don’t like something about a product don’t use it – simple!! Is Winston protecting his own pocket?

  • BR

    Maybe that’s the problem. Too many people getting fat after giving up smoking.


  • Michelle

    These price increases will see kids go hungry.

    Just love these emotive words

    if you can’t afford to feed the kids then either give up the kids or the cigarettes just like others have had to do

    The obesity problem started when the “experts” changed the diet and told us fats etc were bad and now more people eat way too many carbs and we are not doing the manual labour to work off the meals we eat and the food is so processed it doesn’t satisfy you for long enough so you are looking for something else again in no time
    Portion sizes are way too big as well

    • Wheninrome

      Portion sizes are where it is really at. This all started with the cafe’s and their muffins, who could produce the largest muffin – word got round at the generous servings – circa in that era of largesse the 1980’s, big shoulder pads and all.
      A café could still make the same money by halving the size of their muffins, in fact more money. I share a muffin with my husband so one sale, half the size muffin and we would buy 2, up would go their bottom line business would boom not waistlines.

      • hookerphil

        And to go with that dinner plates all seem to be bigger now.

      • Michelle

        A lot of the food is what l call fast food it doesn’t stick to the ribs like the old slice of bread, butter and filling did, usually with meat in it
        now it is all fluffy stuff of bigger size but no real substance

  • Taser

    All the price increase is going to do is cause more corner dairy and gas station robberies. You see it now when a dairy is held up or broken into, all they run off with are trays of cigarettes, So increasing the price will stop people buying their smokes from a shop and now get them on the blackmarket more and more.

  • Caprice

    The man does have a point if you look at the related health costs and shortened life expectancy that goes hand in hand with obesity.
    As a side note: the word ‘tsunami ‘ creates a terrible mental picture when used in context of obesity, and the oft used ‘epidemic’ do not fit my definition of the word when applied to the condition of being fat either.

  • SFB

    Tariana Turia of the Maori Party pushed the anti smoking message and good for her. Winston is out of touch with the majority on this one and just sounds dated. I assume he still is a heavy smoker himself.

    • Tobacco taxes have increased by more than 400% and the reduction in smokers by 4%, not sure that is value for money.

      • SFB

        I remember even in the 70s Muldoon hitting the smokers (and drinkers). It had nothing to do with the health but all to do with tax. Nowadays the tax is just one of many measures. Like a lot of things it’s going to take a generation. I still remember road trips with dad smoking and us kids sliding around the back seat without belts. Normal then, but sounds crazy now.

  • Wayne Peter McIndoe

    I am not sure where I satnd on this one, but Winstons stance will resonate with a large number of people – he is indeed clever

  • RockinBob625

    Does the tax on smoking go to healthcare for lung cancer? That’s what the non-smoking public would like to believe and why we allow it to keep ramping up. It pays the bills for all those dirty smokers health needs.

    To cure smoking though, we need more than just a tax. We need a rising cap on smokers ages similar to what was proposed in Tasmania. Eliminates new consumers coming in to the market. We also need to restrict supply, make it harder to get. Prescription only, perhaps.

    And then it will go black market and we will never kill it off.


  • taxpayer

    Well I feel sorry for the Dairy owners and workers.
    They are on the front line here and are already risking their lives every time they go to work.
    The first thing armed robbers go for now is smokes, because they are worth their weight in gold and easy to on sell.
    How about those ram raids on Z service stations last month, straight for the smokes they went.
    The Govt and the health Nazis just won’t get it until they actually create NZs very own version of Al Capone, idiots.

  • David Moore

    If they were serious about reducing the harm from smoking they would be loosening the laws around vaping. They are not of course, it’s just open season on smokers.

  • JohnO

    Alcohol does way more damage than tobacco but no one is trying punitive taxation against that. It is wrong to use taxation as a social engineering punishment to reduce smoking. It is ok to cover the costs caused by smoking but no more.