'Duty rise to hit smuggling fight' – TMA

20 March, 2011

The Tobacco Manufacturers Association has said expected duty rises in Wednesday’s Budget will undermine efforts to curb smuggling.

Chief executive Christopher Ogden said a 2% rise in tobacco tax above inflation was expected to go through despite the forthcoming publication of a refreshed strategy on tackling tobacco smuggling.

Ogden said: “This would clearly show a lack of joined up thinking as taxation is the acknowledged driver of the illicit tobacco trade.

“We therefore call on the government to resist any calls to raise tobacco duties and allow time for the strategy to work.

"The Irish government recognised that tax increases were driving the illicit trade in tobacco and chose not to raise duties at consecutive Budgets. The Chancellor should be looking to follow their example.”

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