Smokers group wants cut in cigarette tax

Smokers group wants cut in cigarette tax

Smokers group Forest Ireland has called for a cut in taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

The group says Fine Gael and Labour's proposals will mean Ireland's smokers will end up paying an extra €1,500 in tax.

They are claiming smokers are being punished for a habit they enjoy.

Forest Ireland spokesperson, John Mallon, says taxes on tobacco hit the working class hardest.

He said: "By their own admission, they say that the smokers come from the lower classes, the lower social orders, as they put it.

"They are going to be penalised to bail out the squeezed middle class, and the wealthy get away scot-free. The thing is completely disproportionate."

He went on to admit the group gets funding from tobacco multi-nationals, but claims it is small compared to the anti-smoking lobby.

He said: "Big tobacco's funding is very, very minute compared to the funding that anti-tobacco movements in this country get from this government.

"Our funding merely covers our expenses to give smokers a tiny, little voice, which is what Forest is - a small voice for smokers."


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