The Punt: Applying thrift to a swift one
HOW thrifty we've become about the key things in life.
The Punt monitors the Exchequer returns on a monthly basis (exciting, I know) and each month excise is weaker than the Government expected.
But in October, the tax receipts for the duty surged 28pc higher than expected, with €505m taken in instead of the €395m target.
Well, we don't know for certain; but all the signs point to shoppers fearing that the Budget would slap a hike on the cost of alcohol and cigarettes and deciding to stock up accordingly. It is really the only possible explanation.
And it shows that, short of being discouraged from drinking and smoking because of price increases, we'll just try and find a way around it.
But even with the enthusiasm to ensure we can get inebriated and smoke at a cheaper price, we're still lighting up and drinking less that the Government expects us to be, with excise for the year to date 1.3pc lower than projected.