Jorge da Motta, the U.K. chief executive of Japan Tobacco International, believes Scottish ministers would think again about bringing in anti-tobacco policies if the Scottish government received directly the duty levied on tobacco sales in Scotland, according to a story by David Maddox for The Scotsman.
Da Motta was said to have told Scotland on Sunday that he believes control over duties would make members of the Scottish parliament think again over bringing in anti-smoking measures such as the display ban in shops, plain packaging and the banning of smoking in publicly accessible buildings.
He believes that these measures are harming small businesses in Scotland and that his comments reflect concern in the industry that Holyrood, the Scottish parliament, is leading the way on tobacco control and then being followed by Westminster, the U.K. parliament.
Da Motta made it clear he was not taking sides in the debate on the Scottish independence referendum due to be held on Sept. 18, but argued that even in the event of a no vote, further devolution should see duties delivered to Holyrood.
“In post-referendum Scotland, whether it is devo-max [maximum devolution] or independence, a new era of responsibility could see Edinburgh collecting tobacco duty, and with that Holyrood will have to quickly learn about the unintended consequences of regulation draining the public purse of much-needed money,” he said.
The full story is at http://www.scotsman.com/news/health/tobacco-chief-fires-up-debate-over-duty-1-3256130.