tma newsTMA response to the APPG on Smoking & Health Inquiry into the Illicit Trade in Tobacco
TMA response to the APPG on Smoking & Health Inquiry into the Illicit Trade in…Tobacco tax increase is a gift to criminal gangs
Commenting on today’s Budget announcement, Jaine Chisholm Caunt, Secretary General of the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association…
TMA response to the APPG on Smoking & Health Inquiry into the Illicit Trade in Tobacco.
A TMA spokesperson commented:
“The TMA was offered the opportunity to provide oral evidence to the APPG Inquiry but declined and elected to provide a written submission because we knew that we would not be given a fair hearing on the extremely important issue of the illicit tobacco market. Regrettably, the press release that supports the ASH led inquiry proves this very point.
“We would agree with MP Stephen Williams that a broad alliance of HMRC and Border agency to deal with the illicit trade in tobacco is important but he of course omits to mention the international efforts of the tobacco industry itself in providing the intelligence and support to assist the authorities in dealing with this issue.
“The reality is that those who consider this issue objectively will recognise that a high tax policy drives smuggling and cross-border shopping. HMRC data is only available to 2010/11, whereas more up-to-date information shows that the level of cigarettes consumed that are not UK tax paid has risen from 17% in 2011 to 21% in 2012. Additionally the impact on Government revenues is clear for all to see. Figures released by the Office for Budget Responsibility this week show a revised forecast for tobacco duty revenue in 2012/13, down by £200 million. This is evidence, not propaganda.
“Over 500,000 people have come out against the proposals to introduce plain packaging. The relationship between standardised packaging and the ease by which they could be counterfeited is an issue which has been raised by MPs, packaging suppliers, retailers, wholesalers, the police and enforcement agencies – not just the industry. Perhaps Mr Williams should speak to the 75 MPs who have signed a letter to express their concern instead of simply listening to those who want to close down any debate about this important issue which will have a serious and detrimental impact on many businesses large and small.”
A copy of the TMA’s submission to the APPG Inqury is available to download here.
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