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 Header Item Allocation of Time: Motion
 Header Item Financial Resolutions 2018
 Header Item Financial Resolution No. 1: Tobacco Products Tax

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 960 No. 1

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Allocation of Time: Motion

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh I move:

That, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, the financial motions by the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform shall be taken and decided in accordance with the following schedule, and the proceedings thereon and on any amendments thereto, shall in the case of each resolution be brought to a conclusion by one question which shall be put from the Chair not later than the times indicated as follows: Financial Resolution No. 1, to conclude after 30 minutes; Financial Resolution No. 2, to conclude after 30 minutes; and Financial Resolution No. 3, to conclude after 30 minutes.

  Question put and agreed to.

Financial Resolutions 2018

Financial Resolution No. 1: Tobacco Products Tax

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I move:

  (1) THAT for the purposes of the tax charged by virtue of section 72 of the Finance Act 2005 (No. 5 of 2005), that Act be amended, with effect as on and from 11 October 2017, by substituting the following for Schedule 2 to that Act (as amended by section 36 of the Finance Act 2016 (No. 18 of 2016)):



(With effect as on and from 11 October 2017)

Description of Product
Rate of Tax

Cigarettes …. .... .... ….

Rate of tax at­-

(a) except where paragraph (b) applies, €309.04 per thousand together with an amount equal to 9.04 per cent of the price at which the cigarettes are sold by retail, or(b) €344.07 per thousand in respect of cigarettes sold by retail where the rate of tax would be less than that rate had the rate been calculated in accordance with paragraph (a).

Cigars .... .... .... ….

Rate of tax at €355.238 per kilogram.

Fine-cut tobacco for the rolling of cigarettes ....

Rate of tax at €335.342 per kilogram.

Other smoking tobacco .... …. .... …. .... ….

Rate of tax at €246.449 per kilogram.

  (2) IT is hereby declared that it is expedient in the public interest that this Resolution shall have statutory effect under the provisions of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act 1927 (No. 7 of 1927).

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I draw Members' attention to the fact that we have just agreed there will be 30 minutes for each resolution. A number of Members would like to contribute but the House has decided that I have to put the question after 30 minutes. I ask all who want to contribute to take into consideration that there are only 30 minutes.

Deputy Simon Harris: Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I am pleased to move this financial resolution, which provides for excise duty increases on tobacco products with effect from midnight tonight. The increase amounts to 50 cent, inclusive of VAT, on a pack of 20 cigarettes in the most popular price category together with pro rata increases for other tobacco products as well as an additional 25 cent increase on a 30g pack of "roll your own" tobacco. The price of a pack of 20 cigarettes in the most popular price category, assuming the full increase is passed through to the final retail price, will increase to €12. The excise duty component of this price will be €7.27 and the total tax, inclusive of VAT, will be €9.51, which represents 79.3% of the price of a pack. Ireland is committed to a policy of high taxation of tobacco to encourage people to quit smoking, particularly younger people. The policy is working. In 2007, 24% of our people were daily smokers. By contrast, the HSE and Healthy Ireland survey figures for June of this year show that this figure has fallen to 17.6%. Furthermore, the quantity of cigarettes consumed per smoker has also fallen in that period.

  Increasing taxation on tobacco products is a key public health policy measure which has been supported by successive Governments to continue this downward trend in smoking rates in Ireland and to help us achieve a tobacco-free Ireland by 2025. With regard to revenue raising, the increase in excise duty on tobacco products is estimated to contribute €63.8 million in a full year.

Deputy Dara Calleary: Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary We will, of course, support this proposal but it is important that the Government invests heavily in our customs infrastructure to ensure tobacco smuggling does not increase as a result of this measure. I acknowledge the presence of former Minister of State at the Department of Health, Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, who had responsibility for health promotion. She highlighted the issue of people taking up smoking in their teenage years. We have to ask, given all the evidence that is available, why we are not communicating with that segment of the population as to the dangers of tobacco. If we can stamp out smoking at that age, it will not become a problem later. While we support the financial resolution, we would like to see investment in infrastructure by the Minister to ensure this is not a charter for smugglers.

Deputy Jonathan O'Brien: Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien My comments will be similar to Deputy Calleary's. We have this debate every year on the financial resolution but perhaps we could have a wider debate on smoking and its effects because there is no doubt that it is a serious factor in a number of deaths every year. We should at least treat it as a health policy but, unfortunately, we debate this every year as part of the budget package.

As the Minister pointed out, since 2007, the rate of tobacco excise has almost doubled, yet the revenue raised has dropped.

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