In the build up to today’s cabinet discussion on the licensing of tobacco retailers, the CSNA has released a statement urging the government not to increase the burden on its members.
“On behalf of CSNA and the 1,500 small businesses that we represent, we urge you to resist the imposition of any additional costs to our members,” said CSNA CEO Vincent Jennings in the statement.
“At present, there are 13,500 registered tobacco retailing outlets, over 7,000 of these are hotels, bars and clubs selling via vending machines,” he went on.
“If an annual licensing system is introduced, these businesses will elect to stop selling what is not considered to be a core product.”
Jennings claimed that this would only put further pressure on smaller tobacco retailers who will be forced to fork out more and more in order for the government to make its anticipated return from the new licence.
“This will lead to a situation that will mean that shops will be expected to pay more than twice the proposed fee if the Budget estimate of a €5m income is to be realized,” he said.
“Minister and his Department have consistently refused to engage with us or any other retailers representatives on this matter since last October, despite repeated requests by us for discussions and explanations on the obvious financial implications of such a radical alteration to our own budgets.
“Tobacco sales via our shops contribute to the Exchequer directly and indirectly, we cannot understand why Fine Gael would wish to punish traders that are already struggling with smuggling and legitimate Duty Free cigarettes garnering some 18-20% of our potential sales.”
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Conor William O’Brien