LONDON, October 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Commenting on the release of the HMRC Measuring Tax Gaps Report 2016, Giles Roca, Director General of the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association (TMA), said:
"The Government's own figures show that illicit tobacco remains a significant problem and is a direct result of the Government's above-inflation tax policy. It is clear from these figures that many smokers are not buying UK taxed tobacco but are seeking out cheaper alternatives either from abroad or from the illegal market. Indeed, this is confirmed by our own research that showed 71% of UK smokers buying non-UK duty paid tobacco over the last year. We call on the Government to review the current levels of cross border allowances, as the evidence suggests that these are being abused.
"The fact that 13% of cigarettes and 32% of hand rolling tobacco is smuggled, losing revenue of £2.4 billion, continues to show the extent of the problem and makes it abundantly clear that the best way forward is to deliver a tax policy which protects Government revenues, backed up by investment in effective law enforcement.
We call on the new Chancellor to review the Government's strategy including the annual escalator ahead of the Autumn Statement in a few weeks."
Example prices of cigarettes & hand rolling tobacco
Typical pack of 20 premium Hand rolling tobacco cigarettes (50gr) UK GBP 9.35 UK GBP 19.65 Spain GBP 3.85 Belgium GBP 7.14 Poland GBP 2.86
Notes to Editors:
- The TMA is the trade association for tobacco companies that operate in the UK. Our members are British American Tobacco UK Ltd (http://www.bat.com), Gallaher Ltd (a member of the JTI Group of companies - http://www.jti.com), and Imperial Tobacco Ltd. (http://www.imperial-tobacco.com)
- The Government confirmed that it would increase tobacco by 2% above inflation each year in 2014 during the lifetime of the 2015-20 Parliament.
- Further information can be found on the TMA's website - http://www.the-tma.org.uk