Your article reported the tobacco industry's assertion that "Treasury and Customs officials [need] to brace themselves for a tsunami of smuggled cigarettes", as "criminal gangs seek to cash in on the UK's exceptionally high tax rates on tobacco products" (Tobacco tax rise 'a gift to smugglers', 7 February). This is an old argument wheeled out every year in advance of the budget.And it happens to be correct. Remember Prohibition (actually, you do look old enough…)?
And now strong enforcement is in place there's no reason why, as the industry argues, "the volume of contraband sold on Britain's streets will rocket when excise duty goes up". Cracking down on smuggling, not cutting taxes, has brought tobacco tax fraud under control.It has? That must be news to HMRC!
The article states: "In 1993 the then chancellor Ken Clarke introduced a duty escalator to shore up hard-hit public finances." This is true but it was also introduced as a public health measure. Clarke said this approach "is the most effective way to reduce smoking". This view is supported by not just Action on Smoking and Health but also the World Bank and the World Health Organisation.It doesn’t seem to be supported by the people who want to smoke, though…
That is why we and 60 other health organisations believe the government should increase the tax escalator from 2% to 5% above inflation in the upcoming budget – a move which will both increase government revenues and reduce smoking./facepalm
Leg-Iron's 'man with a van' is going to be run off his feet,. isn't he? Perhaps he'll bring her back a nice big box of chocolates...
You can facepalm all you like(in fact you do it too often). But we know that you are a non-smoker with an agenda.
Asian and other minority owned shops are selling smuggled tobacco and even advertising such in their windows!
Where ever you see the Polish word
"PAPIEROSY" you can by foreign cigarettes at £2.50 per packet HM Revenue and Customs ignore these signs and fail to prosecute, reserving their ire for the native born.
Something tells me Deborah Arnott never learnt about cause and effect in school.
You'd think after all these years people in power would remember that prohibition doesn't work. Try to tax something out of existence, a black market will spring up to fill the gap.
Anybody know of such obliging souls in the West Cornwall area? A customer awaits!
"But we know that you are a non-smoker with an agenda."
Really? And that is..?
"Asian and other minority owned shops are selling smuggled tobacco and even advertising such in their windows!"
I haven't been to many boot sales this year (they haven't started up yet) but I suspect, when I do, the 'man with a rucksack' will be ubiquitous as ever :)
"Something tells me Deborah Arnott never learnt about cause and effect in school."
Or about human nature.
"You'd think after all these years people in power would remember that prohibition doesn't work."
They remain firmly convinced that this time it'll work out, because they are smarter or more moral than all the others who tried and failed.
"Anybody know of such obliging souls in the West Cornwall area? A customer awaits!"
I'd be amazed if there was nothing! Smuggling's in the DNA, isn't it? ;)
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