Tobacco retailers across the UK have expressed disappointment that tax on tobacco will increase by 2% above inflation following today’s Budget.
The Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance (TRA), which represents 26,000 shopkeepers across the UK, campaigns to raise awareness of the link between high tobacco tax and tobacco smuggling.
John Abbott, the North East Spokesman of the Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance and a retailer from Darlington commented:
“Every time the Government raises the tax on tobacco, it plays in to the hands of tobacco smugglers who make more money selling their illegal product here compared to anywhere else in the EU. With the Chancellor’s announcement, smugglers will now make even more profit, encouraging more of them to ply their illegal trade in communities across the UK, selling to customers no matter what their age. This in turn will mean lost sales for legitimate retailers like myself.”
The black market in smuggled and counterfeit tobacco already causes a loss to the Treasury of almost £8 million each day, and deprives legitimate businesses of trade.