Thursday, 1 March 2012

Prohibition doesn't work does it? More evidence from Bradford...


The sale of 'illegal' cigarettes and tobacco is growing - according to this article it 'costs' the HMRC "£10 million a day". We all know it's growing and we all know the reasons - high rates of duty and the ease of smuggling. Here's one example from a court case in Bradford:

Steven Brocklehurst, for Mahmad, said his client took over the shop in May last year, at which time it became apparent there were people who, on going abroad – particularly to Poland – would buy tobacco as part of their duty free allowance and sell it on to the shop owner.

“Clearly it was a process that had been going on for some time with the previous owner,” Mr Brocklehurst said. 

So these nice Eastern European folk were funding their trips home by gaming the margins between UK prices and Polish prices - a margin made up almost entirely of tax. And the problem is growing - here's the chap from West Yorkshire Trading Standards:

“The fact that so many cheap, illicit cigarettes are on sale is seriously undermining Government efforts to encourage people to quit smoking. In addition those who deal in illicit tobacco are evading tax which has an obvious damaging effect on legitimate business and the wider economy.” 

And look at the downside risks - 60 hours community work and a fine of less than two grand.

Denormalisation - prohibition by another name - simply doesn't work, does it!



Anonymous said...

Simon, you know that denormalisation doesn't work, I know denormalisation doesn't work, in fact anyone with half a brain knwos that denormalisation doesn't work. But the anti-tobacco lobby have to have someone to hate and someone to pay their salaries.

I'm expecting that sooner or later smokers will be issued with yellow armbands so they can be spat at in the street. ASH's campaign against smokers is on par with that perpetrated against the Jews in 1930s Germany.

Pat Nurse MA said...

Denormalisation makes people kill themselves and kill others. It is a hate campaign.

Some of us buy our own personal supply from abroad and grow our own tobacco because we will not fund this govt hatred.

Some of us have stopped donating to once worthy charities like CRUK which spends far too much on persecuting adults consumers for the anti-smoker funding it gets than on actual research into what causes cancer.

If you want to help people with cancer donate to more honest charities and if the Govt wants our tax back, it should get off our backs, leave us alone, and stop funding public hate campaigns.

Anonymous said...

I also hate it when they say it "costs" xx.

If I choose to put a 1 pound tax on crisps, and no one pays it, it hasn't "cost" me a penny.