Two of Ireland’s largest tobacco firms, JTI Ireland and John Player, have criticised the government’s decision to raise excise on tobacco in Budget 2016, saying that it will serve to exacerbate the illegal trade here.
JTI Ireland said that the increase comes ‘amid exchequer losses of over €142 million on tobacco excise since 2012, despite claims the excise hikes would increase the government tax take from tobacco by €81 million’.
JTI Ireland general manager Igor Dzaja said, “We know that steep excise increases such as this stimulate the illegal trade. Yet every year we see the Government being pushed to introduce these policies without any assessment of their impact and negative consequences.
“These excessive annual tax hikes continue to create fertile ground for the black market, so rather than raising revenues, it is playing into the hands of criminal smugglers.”
John Player noted that the 50 cent excise increase will prove to be a ‘bonanza for bootleggers’.
“The recent Revenue discovery of counterfeit cigarettes in Ireland, adorned with false Irish tax stamps, proves that Irish smokers are being deliberately targeted by organised crime,” the company said, adding that this “excessive increase will further incentivise criminal elements.”
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones