Stat of the day: 21%

The percentage of cigarettes made from smuggled tobacco

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
One of the hot topics from yesterday’s budget was the tax on tobacco.  

The Tobacco Manufactures’ Association had argued that if the duty went up too much it would encourage the black market trade: the latest figures from the TMA suggest that 21% of cigarettes and 58% of handrolling tobacco consumption is non-UK duty paid, which means it’s either been smuggled into the UK or brought in from overseas and escaped paying tax to the Government.

But Chancellor George Osborne remained firm, sticking with a 2% above-inflation duty on tobacco products and raising the duty on handrolling tobacco by 10%. This brings a packet of economy cigarettes up by 50p and a pouch of handrolling tobacco to more than £7 - a decent reason to give up, if ever there was one.  

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