The Federal Government could be about to stub out cheap Esse cigarettes for jet-setting smokers. The duty-free allowance for cigarettes and tobacco for international travellers arriving in Australia is facing the axe, Channel 7 reported last night. The tax break is worth an estimated $270 million and the tax collected would help raise money for the fragile Budget.
The Henry Tax Review recommended the duty-free allowance be abolished in its 2010 report to Treasurer Wayne Swan.
Mr Swan’s office last night said it would not comment on Budget speculation. Under existing rules inbound travellers aged over 18 are allowed to bring into Australia 250 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco products tax-free.
Families travelling together can pool their tax-concession. The Government has waged a war on smoking with moves to introduce plain packaging, a massive increase in tax and a ban on internet advertising.