Friday, March 22, 2013

"Surprise" ! Irish Tax Increases Boost Cigarette Smuggling

While things continue to be bad in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece, and things have taken a dramatic turn for the worse in Cyprus, Ireland is seeing most things improve.

2012 featured a significant drop in unemployment, a faster GNP increase than any non-Baltic EU country and a record current account surplus.

However, the Irish governments attempt to increase revenue by soaking its smokers is not going well:

Cigarette-smuggling continues to soar in Ireland, with new Department of Finance figures showing that tobacco excise tax receipts are falling dramatically short of targets, even though taxes have increased and the number of people smoking has remained constant at 29 per cent of the population...
..Criminal gangs are openly selling smuggled cigarettes on the streets of central Dublin and other cities, door to door and at fairs and markets. Counterfeit cigarettes can be brought to the Irish market at a cost of just 20 cents a pack and sold on the black market at €4.50. The average selling price of legitimate cigarettes is €9.20 a pack....
....Ireland has the most expensive cigarettes in the European Union, meaning that smugglers can make big profits by offering them at cheaper prices. 


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