Budget 2020 – The price of cigarettes increased by 50c as punters now have to pay up to € 13.50 per pack
THE price of cigarettes has been hiked by 50 cents in today’s Brexit budget – and the hike will start from midnight tonight.
Smokers will now have to pay up to € 13.50 for cigarettes in the most popular price category.
This is the eighth consecutive year that the price of cigarettes has increased.
The price hike is due to go into effect at midnight tonight.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said: “I am increasing the excise duty on a pack of 20 cigarettes by 50 cents, with a pro-rata increase on other tobacco products.
“This will bring the price of cigarettes in the most popular price category to € 13.50. “
‘MORE TO DO’
The Irish Heart Foundation has welcomed the price hike – but said more needs to be done to reduce smoking rates in Ireland.
Foundation Advocacy Officer Chris Macey said: “The Irish Heart Foundation welcomes the continuation of the policy of increasing annual cigarette prices, which has resulted in a historic reduction in rates. smoking, especially among young people in Ireland.
“But there is still a long way to go to reduce smoking to the 5% target for a tobacco-free Ireland, which equates to 200,000 smokers by 2025.
“And the inability to announce larger tax increases alongside much larger investments in abandonment services calls into question the government’s commitment to even try to achieve one of its flagship national policies in health matters.
“The number of smokers in Ireland has fallen by 80,000 over the past three years, but we need further reductions of 100,000 each year through 2025 to meet the government’s target.
“We believe that increasing the price of a pack of cigarettes to € 20 by then, in addition to an immediate quadrupling of investment in cessation services to at least € 50 million per year are essential to achieve such a significant reduction in smoking rates. “
SLAM HIKING GROUP OF SMOKERS
Smokers’ advocacy group Forest Ireland has called the price hike a “goalless”.
Spokesman John Mallon said: “Ireland is already the most expensive country in Europe to buy tobacco.
“Thanks to Paschal Donohoe, more smokers will buy their tobacco duty free when they are abroad, or on the black market at home.
“The increase in excise taxes on tobacco discriminates against the low paid and those who can least afford it. The only people who will benefit are the criminal gangs that sell illegal tobacco.
The finance minister said the government’s Brexit budget was an “unprecedented budget at an unprecedented time”.
In the meantime, the Christmas bonus has been fully restored to 100 percent and will be paid to 1.2 million welfare recipients.
And the fuel allowance will increase by € 2 per week from January 2020.
Motorists should pay more for gasoline and diesel because the carbon tax must be raised to € 6 per tonne from midnight.
56,000 people over 70 will be eligible for a medical card next year – while free general practitioner care is extended to children under eight.