Tobacco firms sidestep tax rises
Opposition MPs say tobacco companies are "gaming" tax rules to reap profits from annual excise increases, profiting from measures designed to curb smoking.
Tobacco companies are avoiding millions of dollars’ worth of tax increases each year by triggering huge excise payments just before the end of December, then keeping the annual increase on New Year sales.
A timing loophole creates an entirely legal way to make a windfall from tax increases.
Last year the Government announced there would be 10 per cent increases in tobacco excise, on top of inflation adjustments, each year for four years, on January 1.