Illegal tobacco use in Australia is continuing to grow with a new report revealing around one in every seven cigarettes consumed is illegal.
The latest in a series of reports by KPMG LLP in the UK, Illicit Tobacco in Australia, shows that illegal tobacco use in the last 12 months has increased from 13.5% to 14.3% of total consumption.Oops. Didn't they say this wouldn't happen?
The mix in the tobacco black market has changed since 2012. The report found that more branded illegal cigarette packs are being smuggled into Australia than ever before. Contraband cigarettes are now the largest component of the black market.OK, so it's only a 0.8% increase. No biggie, right? Well, not unless you take into account the same survey from last year.
[In] the twelve months to the end of June 2013 (LTM H1 2013), the level of illicit consumption grew from 11.8% to 13.3% of total consumption.
This is the highest level recorded.The record just got broken.
This should come as no surprise, of course, since Australia's 7 News reported on an 'explosion' in the counterfeit trade back in July.
Plain Cigarette Packaging Boosts Counterfeit and Smuggling: According to a Channel Seven News report about a raid on illegal cigarette sales in a Sydney market, this idea has boosted smuggling and other nefarious activities by about 40 per cent and driven up seizures of sticks from 82 million in 2012 to 200 million last year.
"Authorities blame the surge in counterfeit cigarettes on the introduction of plain packaging two years ago."You don't have to be a mathematician to work out that the difference between 2012 - when plain packaging was introduced - and now represents around a 21% increase in illicit tobacco supply in just two years! And this, remember, in a country whose neighbours are huge distances away by sea or air and not - like the UK - a mere 21 miles with the convenience of a handy tunnel and free movement between EU nations.
Presented with this concrete and real-world evidence - and with Police and border agents advising of the tangible lure to counterfeiters that plain packs offer - Westminster would be stark staring bonkers to follow Australia on the say-so of notoriously mendacious, tax troughing career prohibitionists and their computer-modelled fantasies, doncha think?
They do have some fans cheering them on, though.
If the Indonesian gangs are sensing an opportunity, you can just imagine how excited Eastern European ones are going to be
Truly, then, it will confirm we are governed by imbeciles.
* In no particular order, see 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, & 8