Budget 2019 Ireland: Price Of 20 Cigarettes To Rise By 50c To €12.70

Smokers' pockets have been hit hard in this year's budget as Paschal Donohoe announced a 50 cent increase in the cost of a packet of 20 cigarettes.

Excise duty on cigarettes will go up 50c, while all cigarettes sold below €11 will have the same excise applied as cigarettes sold at €11.

Minister Donohoe said: "I am increasing excise duty on a pack of 20 cigarettes by 50 cents, with a pro-rata increase on other tobacco products. This will bring the price of cigarettes in the most popular price category to €12.70.

He added: "I am also increasing the Minimum Excise Duty on tobacco products so that all cigarettes sold below €11 will have the same excise applied as cigarettes sold at €11."

The decision has been criticised by Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS).

RAS spokesperson Benny Gilsenan said: ¡°Today¡¯s decision is another slap in the face to retailers that have been compliant with every decision made by this Government.

"We want more resources to be given to Revenue to protect businesses from illicit trade in tobacco, alcohol and solid fuel.¡±

Mr Gilsenan continued: ¡°This year we have seen the discovery an illegal cigarette factory on Irish soil for the first time, and only this weekend we saw the discovery of two separate oil laundering operations and it¡¯s significant that these plants were found near the border.

"The increase further widens the gap between legitimate shop-owners that are earning an honest living, and gangs peddling €5 cigarette packets in our communities.

"What¡¯s more, this is little more than a stealth tax on our law-abiding customers, who choose to buy legitimate product rather than smuggled product from the street.¡±

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