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Ash Ireland seeks 50c environmental levy on pack of cigarettes in Pre-Budget Submission

ASH Ireland has submitted its Pre-Budget Submission to the Minister for Finance.  This submission makes five different proposals, as follows:

  • A 50 cent environmental levy on each pack of 20 cigarettes sold; to be imposed on the Tobacco Industry, on the “polluter pays” principle.
  • The removal or reduction of VAT on nicotine replacement patches.
  • An increase of 60 cents in the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes. (Also proposed by Irish Heart Foundation and Irish Cancer Society).
  • An increase of €5 million in funding the fight against the tobacco smuggling.

Dr Ross Morgan said today, “We sincerely hope that the Minister for Finance, with the support of his cabinet colleagues, will look favourably at our four point Pre-Budget Submission.  We believe it is particularly important that there is a significant increase on the price of tobacco and we fully support a detailed submission on price increase made by the Irish Cancer Society and the Irish Heart Foundation last week.  It is well established that tobacco constitutes the main component of urban waste and we are asking the Minister to place a 50 cent levy on each pack of 20 cigarettes sold to recoup the cost of dealing with this waste, which is also a significant environmental hazard.  We are insisting that the highly profitable Tobacco Industry pick up the cost of this levy.

Dr Morgan went on to say “There is a significant price differential between the cost of nicotine replacement therapy in Ireland when compared to other EU countries.  We are asking the Minister to remove or reduce the VAT on nicotine replacement patches as one way of addressing this price differential.  Nicotine replacement patches are VAT rated at 5% in the UK, whereas in Ireland it is 23%.  We are also asking the Minister to increase the levels of funding for those agencies involved in the fight against tobacco smuggling.  Tobacco smuggling is a serious criminal issue and must be treated as such by the agencies who are directly responsible.  It is vitally important that the Tobacco Industry who have a vested interest in the smuggling issue are not directly involved as advisors, or supporters to the government on the smuggling issue.”

ENDS

For contact: ASH Ireland:  0818-305055

Wally Young, Young Communications:  087-2471520