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Budget 2017: Poor sacrificed on altar of public health, says Forest

Wed 22nd November, 2017

Campaigners have responded with anger to the announcement of yet another increase in tobacco duty.

Simon Clark, director of the smokers' group Forest, said:

"This is the second increase this year. Tobacco duty is already punitively high. A further tax hike discriminates against smokers who are less well off. Once again the poor are being sacrificed on the altar of public health.

"The prime minister famously said her government wanted to help those who are just about managing. Instead of helping, the chancellor will push more people into poverty unless they quit smoking or turn to the black market.

"Thanks to the chancellor more and more smokers will buy illicit tobacco at home or purchase their tobacco abroad. The loss of revenue to the Treasury will far outweigh any health benefits to the nation."

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