Serious effort required to tackle illegal trade of tobacco products – Ó Caoláin
Commenting on the 40 cent increase on a packet of cigarettes in today’s budget, Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said;
“While I recognise that a 40 cent increase on a pack of cigarettes is a major hit for smokers, twice what I had expected, it should, and I hope it does, help persuade more smokers to desist and discourage many, many more from taking up this dangerous habit.
“While Minister Noonan projects an extra €53 million yield per annum through this increase, I would be much happier if it did not yield an additional cent, such, I wish, would be its dissuading impact.
“I note no particular commitment, either in existing Government policy or in this Budget Statement, to address the serious matter of illegal tobacco imports and their sale on the black market. This 40 cent increase, without a complimentary effort to seriously tackle the illegal trade in tobacco products, will lead to ever greater opportunity for those who flaunt the law and deny our public funds of the returns that would otherwise accrue for the provision of our public services” concluded Deputy Ó Caoláin.