PodcastsMay 10, 2024

How many lives is that tax cut worth?


Recent research reveals the repeal of smokefree measures is not only bad for our health, but also the economy.

The Government has repealed various smokefree measures to ensure it keeps collecting $1.2 billion a year in tobacco taxes, in order to pay for tax cuts already being delivered to landlords. But an economic analysis done by Otago University’s public health department has found keeping the smokefree measures would have been of benefit not only for public health, but also for the economy.

According to the research, keeping the smokefree measures would have made consumers $51 billion better off by 2050 through earning more and spending less. This would more than offset the $19 billion net losses of the Government that would result from less tobacco tax and greater pensions spending due to more people living past the Super age of 65.

Otago University professor Nick Wilson joined Bernard Hickey on this week’s episode of The Spinoff’s economics podcast, When the Facts Change, to discuss the fascinating figures resulting from that research.

Follow When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. Produced in partnership with Kiwibank.

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