Packet of cigarettes set for 'biggest price rise ever' next month
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It's a pretty well-known and universally accepted fact that smoking cigarettes is bad for you.
This is all down to new plans from the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, who wants to raise the price of a packet of cigarettes in line with inflation.
Now, unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that inflation is at its highest rate in decades, which means that cigarettes would go up in price by over 15 percent.
In monetary terms, what Hunt is proposing as part of his March 2023 budget is that cigarettes go up by £1.15 per packet of 20.
This means that they will have a tobacco tax of at least two percent and levies of 12.7 percent.
It will probably come as no surprise to many that cigarettes are going up in price, because they are such a big way for the government to make money through taxation.
As reported by the MailOnline, cigarettes make 1.2 percent of all tax revenue, which equates to almost £11 million in taxes.
But despite being such a big money maker, the government is ultimately hoping that the number of smokers in the UK will continue to fall to less than five percent of the population by the end of the decade.
News of the increased price has been met with outrage by some, who are arguing that smokers already pay enough tax for their vice.
Benjamin Elks, the operation manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "Smokers already pay vast sums to the Treasury.
"Tobacco taxes are high enough, without yet another damaging increase. The government should freeze tobacco duty."
Action on Smoking & Health said: "A primary purpose of increasing tax above inflation is to reduce the affordability of tobacco products. However, RPI [the retail price index] is not a good measure of affordability, particularly at the current time when wages are not keeping pace with inflation."
They added: "A better measure of affordability is average earnings, as is used in Australia and we recommend that the UK switch from using RPI to average weekly earnings increase as the foundation for the tobacco tax escalator.
"The OBR estimates that average weekly earnings will have grown by 5.4% in the fiscal year 2022-3, and are expected to grow by 4.2% in 2023, while the figures for RPI are 13.0% and 8.3%."
Featured Image Credit: Kathy deWitt / Viktor Nagornyi / Alamy Stock Photo
Topics: UK News