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Story Highlights

  • The Government’s revenue target for this fiscal year will not be altered.
  • Minister Phillips pointed out that while the objective of the regulations is to reduce smoking overtime
  • Tax authorities and the Customs Department are examining the effects of the ban

Minister of Finance and the Planning, Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips, says the Government’s revenue target for this fiscal year will not be altered.

He was responding to a question submitted by Opposition Spokesman, Audley Shaw, in the House of Representatives on July 30, as to whether the ban on smoking in specified spaces would impact sales, and by extension the revenues expected from the tobacco industry.

Minister Phillips pointed out that while the objective of the regulations is to reduce smoking overtime, the pace at which this will happen is not yet known.

“What has been the general pattern is a sharp dip, which then levels off over time…and it is also the case that there is considerable leakage (of revenues) because of the extent of the contraband trade, which we are seeking to close,” he explained.

Dr. Phillips noted that the tax authorities and the Customs Department are examining the effects of the ban, but the two weeks since it was implemented, would not give sufficient information as to a trend.

“Therefore, we continue to monitor the situation…but I want to make it absolutely clear that the revenue number of the Government as a whole remains, and that there will be no slippage in relation to our overall targets for revenue,” he asserted.