Efforts to tackle tobacco smuggling have been hampered by a "farcical" lack of action by the government and its agencies, a committee of MPs has said.If the idiots in charge of us hadn't made the price of the things so expensive in the first place then smuggling them wouldn't be a lucrative activity by those who do it. If it didn't pay to do it, then they simply wouldn't bother and as for those who buy them, well it's clear they couldn't give a damn who supplies them as they look at the price from a man in a van and the state price in the shops and it's simply no contest. This is the lessons learned by the USA during prohibition, if people want something and its banned or priced artificially high then the criminals will come in and start selling it to the law abiding. Essentially the government have driven a lot of smokers into the hands of criminals and are now bitching that its costing them £2 billion in revenue.
The number of illicit cigarettes smoked in the UK rose by 49% to a billion in 2012, suggesting a reduction in enforcement action, the MPs said.
The Commons home affairs select committee said the failure to deal with rogue products was "of grave concern".
HM Revenue and Customs said tackling tobacco smuggling was "a priority".
The committee was particularly critical of the failure to fine a single firm for deliberately oversupplying cigarettes to high-risk markets in order for them to be smuggled back to the UK.
Taxpayers lose out on around £2bn in unpaid duty because of the illegal trade.
The answers simple, drop the price and regain the revenue, however that's never going to happen as there are others out there who hate the idea that people smoke and it is they who at root have caused the loss in revenue and are not willing to compromise so want crooks arrested not realising that there are more out there to jump into the gap (and our prisons are full)
Anyway, this is definitely one to sit back and get the popcorn out as neither side will admit they made a mistake and the loss of revenue will continue to roll into the pockets of the criminal classes. That plus smokers are getting a bargain too and that's going to rub the noses of the anti-smoking brigade right into the mess of their own making.