News National Smoking Joe silent on cigar tax

Smoking Joe silent on cigar tax

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Joe Hockey probably hoped he had got away without being questioned about having that sly cigar with his finance minister.

But in any interview there is always that last question.

Twitter has been abuzz since Friday ridiculing photographs of the treasurer and Senator Mathias Cormann having a cigar after putting together their first budget.

“There’s nothing like the satisfying flavour of other people’s dreams … going up in smoke!” was one tweet.

Having a puff is not illegal, but having a celebratory drag on a fat cigar when you are about to impose the budget with the toughest impact on Australians in almost two decades isn’t a particularly good look.

The latest ribbing came in a more traditional form.

In an interview on Channel Nine on Sunday, political stalwart Laurie Oakes just had to ask one last question after a 15-minute grilling that covered broken promises, infrastructure, rising petrol prices and a freeze on politicians pay.

“For some reason there has been speculation on Twitter about the impact for the budget from the price of cigars. Will tobacco excise go up?” Mr Oakes teased.

Mr Hockey declined to comment on that.

“But I do note that I think in the first budget in 1901 they had taxes on opium, so I can assure you that’s certainly not in the budget. There is certainly nothing to tax there,” he said.