In October 2017, we commissioned a survey of our members in order to obtain their views ahead of the November Budget. In summary:
1. 86% agree that if the Government raises tobacco taxes for the second time in 2017 it will make it harder for them to stay in business.
2. 91% agree that if the Government raises tobacco taxes for the second time in 2017 their customers will become more likely to buy illegal (untaxed) tobacco from criminals rather than from their shop.
3. 79% agree that the new tobacco packaging regulations (plain packs and minimum pack sizes) have made it harder for them to stay in business.
4. 95% agree that the continued sale of tobacco products is important to ensure that their shop stays in business. 0% disagreed.
These results clearly demonstrate TRA members’ concerns over a potential tobacco duty increase for the second time since March 2017.
2017 has delivered significant change to the UK tobacco market, with the full introduction of plain packaging and the ban on smaller tobacco packs, which have impacted on tens of thousands of small and independent retailers up and down the country. We strongly recommend that the Chancellor does not raise tobacco duty again this year.