BIG NEWS

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Extraordinary urgency

As I write the House has almost gone through the speeches for the Excise and Excise-Equivalent Duties Tables (Tobacco Products) Amendment Bill, which will be passed under extraordinary urgency tonight to stop people rushing off and buying smokes in the morning after reading the newspapers. As David Farrar notes, this type of urgency is so rare, it needs the permission of the Speaker under Standing Order 56(3) . He must be convinced “that the business to be taken justifies it”.

Tax on cigarettes will go up 10 percent at midnight tonight with a further 10% increase next January and a third increase of 10% in January 2012. All but four Act MP support this bill. Well done to Tariana Turia for putting the bill before the House and to Hone Harawira for pushing the issue. Well done to Tau Henare for giving up smoking. And I thought Hekia Parata gave a good speech. You can see that here.

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