Dáíl approves hike in cigarette prices

Dáíl approves hike in cigarette prices

Laws to increase the price of cigarettes have been passed – but not before being labelled "the Nidge Tax" in the Dáil tonight.

The Dáil voted by 121 to 22 to add 40 cent to a pack of 20 cigarettes from midnight.

Independent TD Finian McGrath, one of those who voted against it, claimed the move would encourage illegal sales, with reference to a favourite character from RTÉ's Love/Hate.

"I call this a Nidge tax - because the criminal gangs are rubbing their hands tonight, because they'll make more money from smuggling cigarettes than they will make from heroin or cannabis or any other drugs."

"You need to wake up and smell the coffee in relation to this issue … criminal gangs are up to the neck in illegal cigarettes."

Sinn Féin and a number of Independents voted against the increase, which could raise €53m for the Government.

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