NFRN Ireland campaigns against proposed tobacco licence fee
NFRN Ireland is urging TDs to oppose the proposed tobacco licence fee which will hurt law-abiding retailers
1 September 2014
NFRN Ireland has written to all TDs asking them to oppose plans for a tobacco licence fee.
In June 2014, the then Minister for Health James Reilly obtained Cabinet approval to pursue plans to introduce a tobacco licence fee, estimated to be €500, with the variance in the cost between supermarkets and independents to be determined.
NFRN Ireland has said it is “vehemently opposed to the measure as once again legitimate retailers are a soft target for government whilst criminals profit greatly from the illicit tobacco trade”.
Commenting, NFRN Ireland’s Public Affairs manager Deirdre Drennan said: “Inevitably some retailers will decide the profit they are making from tobacco products does not justify being subject to a fee of this size and will choose to no longer sell tobacco. As legitimate retailers leave the market there is scope for criminals to increase their market share and earn additional profits. Retailers are responsible in how they sell age related products as they continuously ask for ID and comply with all other regulations, yet criminals can sell cigarettes to children at a pocket money price point and face little or no consequence.
“Evidence of the scale of the demand for illicit tobacco products was clear earlier this year when the largest seizure in the EU of black market tobacco occurred in Drogheda. While previous ministers have trivialised the scale of the problem, a seizure of this size proves the level of demand in this country. That’s why we need all TDs to act and oppose the fee.”