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AUSTRALIA

Four 12.5 per cent tobacco tax hikes planned

31 Jul 2013. The tobacco excise tax will be increased 12.5 per cent on 1 Dec and by the same percentage in each of the next three years, said Treasurer Chris Bowen.

A joint statement with Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said additional tax revenue would amount to AUD 5.3 billion (EUR 3.6 billion) over four years. The additional funds are to be used to help balance the budget, deter young people from smoking and pay for cancer and stroke care. Subsequent increases after December are planned for 1 Sept, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

This is a significant public health measure that will also help to build on the government's record investment of an extra AUD 4.1 billion for world class cancer care here in Australia since 2007, the statement says.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the tax hikes will increase the price for a Winfield Blue 20-pack by AUD 0.98 from December and AUD 5.25 in 2016.