Sydney: An Australian senator affiliated to the country’s Liberal Party, has said the country’s health system would save funds if smokers keep up their habit and die early.
Senator Nick Minchin said smokers to ‘go for it’ while criticising a federal government plan to increase tax on cigarettes.
“They die early, they actually save us money,” Senator Minchin told ABC television on Monday night.
Senator Minchin, who is leaving politics at the next election, is a key figure in the Liberals” conservative faction and was a minister under former Prime Minister John Howard.
He has kept a relatively low public profile this electoral term, but broke loose in his fiery television appearance.
The South Australian senator said smoking was a ‘hideous habit’ but people had the right to indulge it in a free country.
“We’ve all got to choose our way to go, everyone’s going to die of something,” he said.