The Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association (TMA) responds to calls by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health to increase tobacco taxes

The Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association (TMA) responds to calls by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health to increase tobacco taxes

NEWS RELEASE – Embargoed until 00:01hrs Sunday October 11, 2015

The Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association (TMA) responds to calls by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health to increase tobacco taxes to fund a reduction in smoking prevalence.

Giles Roca, Director General of the TMA said:
“The proposals in this report are economic illiterate and counterproductive. Every time taxation is increased on tobacco it loses the Treasury millions that could have been spent on public services. That’s because tax on tobacco has increased by over 40% over the last five years, making UK tobacco the most expensive in Europe. Smokers are then increasingly switching to cheaper and often illegal products, which loses the Treasury some £2.6 billion each year. Small shops also suffer as they struggle to compete with illegal traders selling products at less than half the legitimate retail price.

“The UK’s high tax policy provides a clear incentive to organised criminals, who don’t care who they sell to as evidenced in a recent survey by Trading Standards North West which reveals a disturbing upturn in children gaining access to illegal tobacco products.

“Rather than imposing yet more tax on a legitimate UK sector, which directly and indirectly supports over 60,000 jobs and generates over £12bn in tax revenue, the UK Government would be better served by holding an independent review of tobacco tax policy.”

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For further information please contact Paul Stockall on 07545 440 700 or email pstockall@the-tma.org.uk

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