Saturday, 10 September 2011

Earning, Not Burning, In Gibraltar

This is quite a coincidence.

While I was describing how UKBA dispose of seized tobacco, that is by pumping secondhand smoke - which isn't dangerous anymore when mixed with water, cellophane and cardboard, apparently - around Slough, the Gibraltar legislature were discussing the self same thing.

The Gib Chronicle explains in full, the day after my article was published.

New legislation approved unanimously by Parliament yesterday will allow the Gibraltar Government to resell stocks of cigarettes seized from smugglers.

Until yesterday, confiscated cigarettes were destroyed and a significant source of potential revenue for the public purse went, quite literally, up in smoke.

The amendment to the Tobacco Act 1997, passed yesterday, came after Chief Minister Peter Caruana learnt that there was “a significant stock” of tobacco products about to be destroyed.

Mr Caruana said there was no reason to destroy “perfectly valuable” tobacco and that reselling these stocks could generate substantial revenue for the public purse.

“Tobacco itself is not per se an illegal commodity,” Mr Caruana said, “I believe this is a huge destruction of value.”.

Only people with a wholesale tobacco licence will be able to buy at the auctions, and only tobacco in good condition will be sold.

The proceeds of the auctions will go into the main government account and will represent “...a significant source of revenue that can be ploughed back into law enforcement or anything else,” the Chief Minister said.
Indeed it can. And, of course, the wholesalers will be obliged to add duty to their government-purchased tobacco before resale (if it hasn't been added at auction). As such, the end consumer will have paid 100% of the cost of their tabs to the state.

That, my friends, is what I call a right royal earner.

Fortunately, governments are immune to the natural human stimuli they ascribe - without exception - to the rest of us, so won't be remotely tempted to pinch more tobacco at the borders. Oh no. Even though doing so can now help them to further increase their budgets.

I mean, whoever heard of a conniving politician, eh?


Snowdon said...

What kind of idiot smuggles cigarettes into Gibraltar? They have some of cheapest cigs in the world.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but from Africa, through Morocco, across Gibraltar and into the rest of the EU.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Snowdon: I did wonder myself. Anon makes a good point, but perhaps they could help out the Spanish in future by confiscating outgoing supplies which exceed the 200 duty free limit. ;)

Paul said...

Funny you should mention this today, what with it being National Day in Gibraltar.

There still no smoking ban in Gibraltar yet?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Paul: Don't know how it went in Gib. I remember someone called Bryan Zammit pushing hard for one on Facebook a while ago.

Hopefully someone may enlighten us.

Anonymous said...

Rowboats in the dead of night, the wave of the future, that plus homegrown, it avoids the border agents altogether.

Anonymous said...

Last time I walked across the border the Spanish didn't even check anybody's passport. Saw a load of Nigerians just walk into the Schengen area - had their green passports in their hands but the guard wasn't interested.

Anonymous said...

There still no smoking ban in Gibraltar yet?

The police smoke when on duty in Gibraltar.

Chalcedon said...

But prices for fags and cigars in Gib are low. As is spirits. I'm surprised smuggling happens.