(28 April) Conor Dunne, spokesperson for the Irish Cigarette Machine Operators Association (ICMOA) has said that should an increase in the licence fee for selling tobacco be introduced, the government will be "handing a bonus" to criminals, while kicking the legitimate trade "in the teeth."
He was speaking at an Extraordinary General Meeting held by the Organisation last week, to discuss the proposed raising of the tobacco retail licence fee, from €50 to a potential €1,000 per outlet, which it says will 'severely impact' the vending industry.
The ICMOA said that it services around 6,000 outlets around Ireland, employs 145 people, and is worth about €175 million to the Irish economy.
“We’re very concerned about several proposed Department of Health measures that have the potential to decimate our industry in a very short space of time," said Dunne.
“Our members already face stiff competition from criminals selling illegal tobacco from bags in pubs and clubs across the country, and now the Government wants to hand them a bonus, and our legitimate trade a kick in the teeth."
On plain packaging, the ICMOA pointed to a recent KPMG report, which found that the illicit trade has grown by 20% in Australia over the course of a year. “Plain packs are an unproven concept with absolutely no evidence to support the Ministers’ intentions, and will only hurt our business – this legislation will only serve the gangsters who sell illegal cigarettes, as it has in Australia”, said Dunne.
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones