Wednesday 4 July, Dublin
On Wednesday, 4 July, Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS) attended a Leinster House briefing hosted by Fianna Fáil Deputy Declan Breathnach to raise awareness of the growing concern surrounding smuggling in Ireland.
Following the success of our ‘Brexit, the Border and the Black Market’ roundtable in Belfast on 15 June, Deputy Breathnach invited RAS into Leinster House to speak about how illicit trade is negatively impacting Irish Retailers and our local communities.
RAS believe that until measures are taken to effectively tackle smuggling to protect small businesses, there should be no further increase in excise. We have witnessed a growth in Non-Irish duty paid which is a major concern to retailers, from 17% in 2013 to 20% in 2017 and due to the year-on-year increases in excise, this is likely to grow even further. Further hikes will lead to greater price differentials between legitimate, legal, duty-paid products and illicit, non-duty-paid products. We are calling for a moratorium on further excise increases until they can be proven not to lead to a surge in smuggling.
RAS spokesperson, Benny Gilsenan, said: “We want to give a voice to the shopkeepers around the country that are having their business undermined by smuggled tobacco, alcohol and solid fuel. Retailers face an uncertain future with Brexit looming, so the Government needs to totally reconsider its policy of year-on-year excise increases, which clearly helping fuel the illicit trade and to provide more resources to Revenue to stop the flow of illicit goods into Ireland and our local communities. We’re grateful for the opportunity today to speak at Deputy Breathnach’s briefing today and help raise awareness of this growing issue for small retailers.”