Smuggled tobacco to cost pounds 2bn in lost tax
Monday 05 October 1998
A sharp rise in illegal imports of cigarettes and hand-rolled tobacco could lead to a near three-fold increase in the loss of tobacco duty, the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association (TMA) says.
In a study to be published shortly, the TMA, made up of the UK's market leaders, Gallagher, Imperial Tobacco and Rothmans, is expected to warn that recent government figures vastly under-estimate the amount of tax revenue lost to cross-Channel boot-legging.
In July, Geoffrey Robinson, the Paymaster General, told Parliament that the government lost pounds 690m worth of tax due to smuggling in 1997.
The bulk of the loss - around pounds 540m - came from illegal hand-rolled tobacco, with only pounds 145m due to smuggled cigarettes.
But the TMA study is set to show that the real loss to the Exchequer could be close to pounds 2bn, due to a sharp rise in the number of cigarettes bought on the Continent - where taxes and duties are lower - and sold in Britain for a profit.
The TMA will use the survey's findings to lobby the government to freeze tobacco duty in this year's Budget and eventually bring it down to European levels.
"The government figure is way out of line and it severely underestimates the size of this problem. We believe this could lead to a substantial loss of revenue," John Carlisle of the TMA said yesterday.
A Customs and Excise spokesman defended the agency's estimates. "While we accept that we lose a reasonable amount of tax to smuggling, we would dispute [the TMA's] figure," he said.
- 1 King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
- 5 Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Ukip Jelly Babies cause uproar on Amazon
Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...
Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...
£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...