NFRN Ireland has written to all TDs asking them to oppose plans for a tobacco licence fee. In a statement, NFRN Ireland said it is 'vehemently opposed' to the measure.
Plans for the introduction of a tobacco license fee gained Cabinet approval in June 2014, under the then Minister for Health, James Reilly TD. The fee was estimated at €500, with the variance in cost between supermarkets and independents to be determined.
As a result of the fee, the Public Affairs Manager, Deirdre Drennan predicts that some retailers may choose to stop selling tobacco, due to the size of the fee. This may have negative effects on crime, as Drenann explains, “As legitimate retailers leave the market there is scope for criminals to increase their market share and earn additional profits.
“Evidence of the scale of the demand for illicit tobacco products was clear earlier this year when the largest seizure in the EU of black market tobacco occurred in Drogheda. While previous Ministers have trivialised the scale of the problem, a seizure of this size proves the level of demand in this country. That’s why we need all TDs to act and oppose the fee.”