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Ireland: Tobacco tax hike will "drive more smokers to the black market"

Tue 10th October, 2023

Campaigners have slammed the announcement by Finance Minister Michael McGrath of an excise tax hike of 75c on a pack of 20 cigarettes, bringing the price to €16.75.
John Mallon, spokesman for the smokers' lobby group Forest Ireland, said:
"Smokers don't deserve this. Annual tax hikes on tobacco are punishing consumers for enjoying a perfectly legitimate habit.

"Not only does it discriminate against consumers on lower incomes, it will drive even more smokers to the black market."
He added:
"Excise duty on tobacco was already at punitive levels. Raising it again by 75c is a spiteful attack on law-abiding consumers.
"Legitimate retailers will lose business to criminal gangs, and smokers who stay within the law will be further punished compared to those who, understandably, buy their tobacco from illicit traders."

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