This resolution provides for excise duty increases on tobacco products with effect from midnight tonight. The increase amounts to 10 cent, inclusive of VAT, on a pack of 20 cigarettes in the most popular price category together with pro rata increases for other tobacco products. The minimum duty on cigarettes will also increase.
The price of a pack of 20 cigarettes in the most popular price category will increase to €9.50. The excise duty component of this price will be €5.67, and the total tax, inclusive of VAT, will be €7.44, which represents just more than 78% of the price. The price and tax component of cigarettes in Ireland is among the highest in the EU. The high tax here reflects the long-standing commitment by successive Governments to use taxation as an instrument to discourage smoking. These latest increases will ensure that tobacco tax continues to play an important role in discouraging consumption of tobacco products.
Unfortunately, high prices and taxes also make Ireland an attractive location for tobacco smugglers. The Revenue Commissioners, who have responsibility for tobacco products tax, are very conscious of the threat that this poses to legitimate business and to the Exchequer and will continue to make tackling the trade in illicit tobacco products a key objective. This measure is estimated to yield €2.5 million in 2013 and €15.4 million in a full year.