• June 24, 2024

Call for duty freeze

 Call for duty freeze

Campaigners have urged the UK Chancellor Philip Hammond to freeze tobacco duty when he delivers his autumn budget statement on October 29.
Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest said today that tobacco duty had been rising for years because of the so-called tobacco tax escalator.
Today, more than 80 percent of the retail price of cigarettes and rolling tobacco went to the government.
And a further increase in tobacco duty would once again hit those who could least afford it, including the elderly and the low paid.
“As well as forcing some people further into poverty, it will inevitably encourage others to buy their tobacco abroad or on the black market at home,” Clark said.
“This will hit legitimate retailers and the government will lose revenue; so no-one wins apart from criminal gangs and illicit traders.”
Calling for a freeze on tobacco duty, Clark said that while smoking might not be a healthy lifestyle choice, tobacco was a legal product and targeting smokers with punitive taxation was unfair on consumers and retailers.
“Fair’s fair,” he said. “A freeze on tobacco duty is long overdue and would be welcomed by millions of smokers who are tired of being singled out by successive governments.”