What does British American Tobacco say about sales volumes in Australia?

Thu, 19 Jun 2014  |  

The Australian's campaign to torture and misrepresent the data on the volume of tobacco consumed in Australia seems to have had a final nail in the coffin with news from British American Tobacco, no less, that sales volumes in Australia are falling.

In their annual report which covers the period up to 31 December 2013, the BAT report notes:

Profit was up strongly as a result of higher pricing and cost saving initiatives, partially offset by lower volume."

What was that?

BAT saying "lower volumes"?

Oh I see. The volume of tobacco sold by BAT was lower in 2013, a picture that dovtails perfectly with the data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Who would have thought that?

Certainly not The Australian writers Christian Kerr, Adam Creighton, Henry Ergas, Judith Sloan, Sinclair Davidson, Chris Merritt, The Editorial writer or the person who puts together the cheeky Cut and Paste column.

See BAT annual report, page 32:  



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The Coalition might as well face it they're addicted to tax

Thu, 21 May 2015

It is about as credible as believing the earth is flat, but there remains a common perception that the Labor Party is high taxing, while the Coalition is low taxing.

Mr Hockey’s budget last week smashed once and for all this perception with the simple fact that his own budget documents show how much Coalition governments rely high tax to pay for their pet projects.

As a share of GDP, Mr Hockeys budget documents show that the level of tax to GDP takes the following profile:

2014-15   21.9%
2015-16   22.3%
2016-17   22.7%
2017-18   23.0%
2018-19   23.4%

And even with that surge in tax revenue, the budget is still in deficit. Whoops.

Quiz Week 4: Win a copy of my book, Myth Busting Economics

Sun, 17 May 2015

It is week 4 of the quiz to win a copy of my book, Myth Busting Economics.

The first three quizzes have gone well. Two of the winners have been HSC economics students which is hugely impressive about their thought processes and teachers.

Now to week 4. All entries need to be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  before 12 noon on Wednesday, 20 May 2015. So please enter soon and I look foward to giving away another copy of my book.

Here is this week’s question.

According to the 2015-16 budget papers, what is the amount of government revenue (called receipts in Budget Statement number 10) Treasurer Joe Hockey is forecasting to collect in 2015-16? Answer to the nearest $million – ie $354,305 million.

Tie breaker 1:

In the budget papers, what is the economic forecast for real GDP growth in 2015-16?

Tie breaker 2:

What is the date of the next RBA Board meeting?

Tie breaker 3:

What will be the yield on the Australian 10 year government bond at close of business, Friday 22 May 2015. Note the current yield is 2.89 per cent.

So there it is. Get your entries in by the Wednesday deadline. All the best.