Carreras to resist heavier taxes on tobacco industry
Cigarette company, Carreras limited, says it will strongly object to any move to impose heavier taxes on the industry to control tobacco use saying the decision would hurt the sector.
Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, yesterday indicated that the Government will be evaluating a call by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for heavy taxation on the tobacco industry.
According to the WHO, a recent study has shown that heavy taxation can save lives while generating revenues for health and development.
However, Carreras Managing Director, Marcus Steele, says this is not the way to go.
IN PHOTO: Managing director of Carreras Limited, Marcus Steele.
Steele says more taxes and higher prices would further drive the illicit trade as more people would seek out cheaper sources to buy cigarettes.
He says this would affect the revenues of both legal operators and the Government.
The Carreras head points that Jamaica has been battling with an illegal cigarette market for many years which he says is estimated to costing the Government almost $2 billion in losses annually.
Steele further argues that any expansion in the illegal market would affect efforts to address issues should as preventing youth access to cigarettes.
He says Carreras has been carrying a more than reasonable taxation and says the company is willing to sit with the Government in crafting a sustainable strategy towards meeting its revenue targets for the upcoming fiscal year.