News & Comment

Increasing tobacco taxation is "economic madness"

Sun 13th March, 2016

Forest has responded angrily to weekend reports that the Chancellor may increase tobacco taxation to help reduce a £58 billion black hole in fuel and sin taxes.

Director Simon Clark said: "Increasing the price of tobacco would be economic madness. It will benefit no-one apart from the spivs and criminals who sell illicit tobacco on the black market.

"The reason people buy and sell tobacco illegally is because the cost of tobacco in the UK is already too high.

"The total shortfall in tobacco revenue since 2010 is £10.7 billion. A large chunk of that has disappeared into the pockets of criminal gangs.

"In 2014/15 alone the revenue the government lost to illicit trade was £2.1 billion with a further £500k being lost to legitimate cross-border shopping.

"Punitive taxation penalises law-abiding consumers and hurts every taxpayer who has to pay to reduce the shortfall."

Angry about punitive taxation on tobacco? Write to your MP via our Axe The Escalator website.

 

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