Bill to tackle smuggling of alcohol and cigarettes to be discussed in Dáil

Bill to tackle smuggling of alcohol and cigarettes to be discussed in Dáil

A Fianna Fáil bill proposing to tackle smuggling of alcohol and cigarettes is expected to be opposed by the Government in the Dáil later.

The legislation aims to introduce on the spot fines for purchasing illegal goods.

But the Government says it would be too difficult to distinguish between genuine and illicit goods or if the consumer was aware of what they were buying was contraband.

13% of all cigarettes packs in the country are illegal with a loss of almost €230 million to the exchequer.

Fianna Fáil TD Declan Breathnach says that money could be spent elsewhere.

"The retailers against smuggling, who have been very helpful in helping to formulate this particular bill, have estimated that the sale of illegal and contraband cigarettes in this country in the last five years equate to the opportunities for the State to have built 8,500 social houses based on this illegal activity," he said.

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