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Excise Taxation in New Zealand

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  • John Creedy
  • Catherine Sleeman

Abstract

In New Zealand, excise taxes are levied on three commodity groups: alcohol, tobacco and petrol. The 2001 Tax Review, published by the New Zealand Treasury, argued that excises are inequitable and inefficient, and advised that these taxes should be removed and the revenue replaced by raising the standard rate of GST. This paper provides an empirical examination of these issues. First, the efficiency of New Zealand’s current system of indirect taxes is examined. The welfare and redistributive effects resulting from the revenue-neutral removal of excise taxes are then examined. Welfare and redistributive measures are computed for a range of demographic groups and total weekly expenditure levels. While the largest efficiency gains and reductions in inequality are observed for households with at least one smoker, the overall distributional implications of the proposed reforms are found to be small.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 929.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:929

Note: This paper has now been published in: Creedy, J. and Sleeman, C. (2005) Excise Taxation in New Zealand, New Zealand Economic Papers, 39, no.1, pp. 1-35.
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Keywords: Indirect taxation; equivalent variations; excess burdens; inequality; tax reform;

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  1. John Creedy & Catherine Sleeman, 2004. "Adult Equivalence Scales, Inequality and Poverty in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 04/21, New Zealand Treasury.
  2. Felicity Barker, 2002. "Consumption Externalities and the Role of Government: The Case of Alcohol," Treasury Working Paper Series 02/25, New Zealand Treasury.
  3. Creedy, J., 1996. "Measuring the Welfare Effects of Price Changes: A Convenient Parametric Approach," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 536, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Amiel, Yoram & Creedy, John & Hurn, Stan, 1999. " Measuring Attitudes towards Inequality," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(1), pages 83-96, March.
  5. Ebert, Udo, 1997. "Social Welfare When Needs Differ: An Axiomatic Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(254), pages 233-44, May.
  6. Jenkins, Stephen P & Cowell, Frank A, 1994. "Parametric Equivalence Scales and Scale Relativities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 891-900, July.
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