Hike in cigarette prices will drive more consumers in to the black market
THE hike in cigarette prices will drive more people to the black market, according to Damien Martin.
The Dublin man runs Martins Off License in Marino with his brother Declan and he believes the increase in the price of cigarettes and tobacco, which he sells in his store, will result in an increase in people purchasing illegal products.
But, he gladly welcomed the Finance Minister's announcement that the excise on alcohol would not be increased, as the sector has been "hit the last couple of times".
"We kind of had a feeling it wouldn't be hit this time. Thankfully, it hasn't been touched.
"We are currently paying the highest duties across Europe.
"It is high enough and I don't know if it can go any higher," Mr Martin said last night.
"I don't smoke so it is not going to affect me personally. But I know a lot of customers are buying on the black market, that there is a lot of cheap imitation cigarettes out there.
"I don't know if it is going to be beneficial overall to the Government because they are going to be losing out on the income tax."
He now hopes the Government's decision not to touch the excise on alcohol will restore some confidence in consumers.
"Hopefully it will increase the consumers confidence in spending and for ourselves, we will see the effects of that and hopefully we will see an increase in spending coming up to this Christmas," he added.