It couldn’t have escaped the notice of avid readers of the Guido Fawkes website that there’s a bit of a campaign blitz going on. The Axe the escalator campaign is a 72 hour Ad blitz by smokers’ rights group FOREST.
During the last parliament, the tobacco duty escalator ensured that duty increased by 2% above inflation each year, with tobacco taxation up 40% over the parliament. Over time the escalator has led to the ridiculous position of tax on the cheapest cigarettes in the UK now being a staggering 88%!
Clearly this ridiculous state of affairs needs to be reversed, but first, we simply need to axe the escalator.
Speaking on the campaign, Director Simon Clark has said;
“Excessive taxation is unfair on Britain’s eight million adult smokers. It discriminates against law-abiding consumers, especially those who are elderly or from lower socio-economic backgrounds.”
“It’s also unfair on legitimate retailers who are competing for business with criminal gangs and other less scrupulous shopkeepers.
“It makes no sense to increase tobacco taxation any further. We urge the Chancellor to do the right thing and axe the tobacco escalator.”
If you agree with me that regressive tobacco taxation is already too high, you can send a letter to your local MP through this handy link.
Follow them on twitter @tobacco_tax
Thomas is director of Conservatives for Liberty. Follow him on Twitter: @Thomas_Stringer
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The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty