As Bradford is stunned by the loss of nearly 500 jobs following Thomas Cook's decision to close their office in the City, the nannying fussbuckets are eagerly promoting proposals that threaten hundreds more jobs in the City - plain packaging for cigarettes. Here's a quote from a briefing note prepared by Bradford Council officers:
A considerable amount of the business of both Weidenhammer and Chesapeake involves the printing of cigarette cartons for the export trade. At Wiedenhammer’s Bradford site a large proportion of the work involves the production of drums for loose tobacco and, if this business disappeared, then it is estimated that turnover would decrease by at least a third. The threat to the business is, therefore, very real and...there would be major implications for investment, jobs and the tobacco packaging supply chain across the UK.
The briefing note continues by noting the problems of counterfeiting:
...unbranded packets and containers are far easier to counterfeit, using a simple, four-colour machine, and that, if the UK government decided to implement the measure, then it would be ‘a gift for organized criminal gangs’. The growth of illicit cigarettes and contraband products would undermine volumes for bona-fida manufacturers, as well as reducing government revenue by even more than the current estimate of £3.1 billion per annum lost from illicit trade in tobacco.
The conclusion from officers says:
Members need to consider whether they wish to support manufacturing businesses in the Bradford area and protect high value engineering jobs by taking part in the consultation process.
I shall be urging Bradford Council to act in the interests of jobs and business in the City and to oppose the proposals.