News & Comment

Chancellor criticised for increasing tobacco duty

Wed 23rd March, 2011

Simon Clark, director of Forest, has criticised the Chancellor’s decision to increase tobacco duty by two per cent above inflation, arguing that it penalises "law-abiding consumers".

Clark said: "Law-abiding consumers who buy their tobacco in British shops are being penalised unfairly.

"The policy also discriminates against those who can least afford it, especially the elderly and the low paid.

"Increasing tobacco duty could cost the government billions of pounds. The people who will benefit most are black marketeers and those who purchase their tobacco abroad."

He added: "The Chancellor said the government's policy on tobacco will reduce smoking. It's not the government's role to force people to stop consuming a legal product. That's social engineering, which we deplore."

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