The Proposed new laws to increase the price of cigarettes has come into effect today. However not everyone in the government agrees with the price increase with some labeling the decision as “the Nidge Tax”.
The Dáil has unanimously voted in favor of the increase by 121 to 22. The decision means that there will be 40 cents added to the price of a pack of cigarettes, making a pack of 20 worth 10 euro. Although Independent TD Finian McGrath, one of those who voted against it, has strongly disagreed with the decision, claiming the move will encourage the sale of illegal cigarettes. Mr McGrath referenced his favourite Love Hate character Nidge whilst telling the Dail what he thought of the decision.
Speaking in the Dail last night McGrath said: “I call this a Nidge tax because the criminal gangs are rubbing their hands tonight, because they’ll make more money from smuggling cigarettes than they will make from heroin or cannabis or any other drugs.”
He went onto say: “You need to wake up and smell the coffee in relation to this issue … criminal gangs are up to the neck in illegal cigarettes.” It is thought that Sinn Féin and a number of Independents voted against the increase. It is thought that the new levy will bring the government a further €53 million in revenue.