WELLINGTON – The spike in break-ins in New Zealand has been linked to taxes on cigarettes, and the situation does not look set to improve.
British American Tobacco has suggested that the steady increases in the taxes charged on the sale of cigarettes in New Zealand could be the reason behind the recent spike in robberies around the country.
Currently, approximately 75 percent of the cost of cigarettes in New Zealand is comprised of taxes, with the average cost of a pack of 20 sitting at NZD 23.40.
Only 5 years ago the average price was approximately NZD 14.50.
The 60 percent increase has been blamed for the recent spike in robberies and break-ins, especially in cases where small corner stores were the victims.
New Zealand has raised taxes on cigarettes by 10 percent per year for the last few years, in an attempt to create a “smoke-free” country by 2025.
However, some academics are now calling for the tax-based anti-smoking efforts to be boosted, with the tax hikes to be doubled, additional taxes to be levied on roll-your-own tobacco products.