Newsagents in Ireland have labelled the 10-fold increase in the cost of a tobacco sales licence as a sneak attack on small corner shops, according to an Independent News & Media story.
Although the budget measure was not included in the finance minister’s speech, the Department of Health has confirmed on its website that a new €500 annual licensing fee for tobacco retailers—up from €50—will come into force in the coming months.
The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) says it is unfair that the 10-fold increase is being applied equally to large supermarket chains and small corner shops.
The NFRN argues that the result will be fewer retail jobs in towns and villages across the country.
“It is a grossly unfair imposition on smaller retailers who are already hugely compliant with all tobacco regulations, as HSE monitoring confirms,” said NFRN President Joe Sweeney.
“This massive increase in registration fees will push some retailers out of the tobacco business entirely, costing jobs and leaving the market open for illicit traders to fill.
“This new charge on retailers is such a perverse and counterproductive policy decision that it will bring delight and greater profits to the criminal and paramilitary gangs now flooding the Irish market with smuggled tobacco.”
Category: Breaking News