500 extra burglaries caused by stupid government regulation

There is no other way to to describe 500 extra burglaries than an appalling unintended consequence of legislation:

Police intelligence documents have revealed aggravated robberies of shops have more than doubled in the past two years, with cigarettes being targeted by thieves almost 500 times in a little over a year – quadrupling previous estimates.

Offenders wielding guns, knives and hammers in search of “gold bars” of tobacco have left shopkeepers “constantly living in fear” and resorting to fighting back with their own weapons.

A previously unreleased Police intelligence report from September last year found there were at least 490 burglaries and robberies in which cigarettes were targeted in a 13 month period – more than one a day, and more than four times the estimate the Herald made after analysing media reports of burglaries.

The anti-smoking lobby and every politician who voted for these regulations should be held to account.

David Farrar points out:

 Excise tax on tobacco has been in the past an effective tool in reducing smoking rates. But at a certain level the price becomes so high that it incentivises the black market, and boy has it done that. 500 robberies in just over a year.

This massive increase in robberies is a direct consequence of the excise tax increases. It shows that further increases are not (sadly) viable unless you want to hand over tobacco sales to the gangs.

Just as prohibition of alcohol failed in America, likewise so will taxing tobacco so hugely in New Zealand.

This is not arguing against the excise tax having been an effective tool at certain levels. Just that the higher it goes, the worse the unintended consequences.

It’s sort of like the minimum wage. Stick it up 50c an hour and there is little impact on employment. Stick it up $10 an hour and you’d have a huge impact on employment. Policies that work well at one level, can backfire at others.

It isn’t like there isn’t any evidence that this would have occurred, it is everywhere, in every country in the world. Massive hikes in taxes on tobacco products leads to massive spikes in crime.


-NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.