Justine Greening, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, has hit on a cunning plan.
He has signed an agreement with British American Tobacco which requires them to make substantial annual payments to the British Government and the EU if their product is smuggled.
So, if they canât get the excise revenue legitimately from the retailers, they will strong arm it from the manufacturers.
Justine Greening said:
âThese agreements are an important step forward in the fight against tobacco smuggling. Signing them sends a clear and consistent signal that we are working in step with the EU, other Member States and tobacco manufacturers to tackle the illicit trade in tobacco products.â
No it doesnât Justin! It sends a clear and consistent signal that you are losing the battle to stop tobacco smuggling so have hit on a new route to get the revenue you are so fond of.
Drop the tax rate and you will cure the smuggling problem.