Rises in cigarette taxes will be stubbed out by National - Bridges

Drive 26/11/2018

Simon Bridges says he won't increase taxes on cigarettes and alcohol if National wins the 2020 election.

The National leader announced on Monday that his party would not introduce any new taxes in its first term, and promised to get rid of both the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax and the Capital Gains Tax.

On top of those commitments, he told Ryan Bridge and Wendyl Nissen on RadioLIVE that his Government would not increase cigarette tax.

"I think we've done our dash there as a country actually - in terms of weaning people off cigarettes, that's done its dash."

An excise tax applies to tobacco products in New Zealand, which has increased every year since 2010.

Mr Bridges said that price increase has stopped working as a deterrent to smoking.

"As a layperson looking in, I'd say it's reached the maximum effectiveness it can have. There's a point when you're not achieving any more from that, and you have to find other ways when it comes to cigarette taxes."

When asked if National would increase tax on alcohol, Mr Bridges said he hadn't considered it.

"I can't see us doing it on any of the sin taxes you're talking about."

'Sin tax' refers to the excise commonly levied on products thought to be harmful to society.

Mr Bridges claimed that the only way to deal with a cost of living that's rising higher than people's wages is to cut taxes.

Listen to the full interview above.

Drive with Ryan Bridge , 3pm - 6pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.

RadioLIVE/Newshub.