Cabinet does u-turn on cigarette prices: AD

Ministers have reversed plans to put up taxes on cigarettes following ‘enormous pressure’ from lobby groups, the AD reports on Tuesday.

The coalition agreement between the VVD Liberals and Labour party included a proviso to increase tobacco taxes 9% in 2014.

At the same time, the planned 14% increase in taxes on beer and wine will be halved, the paper says, quoting sources in The Hague. And a tax of a few cents will be added to soft drinks, a measure which was not part of the agreement, the AD says.

Petrol station owners and other lobby groups have been lobbying ministers for month not to put up the prices. They argue consumers are going over the border to Belgium to buy cigarettes where they are much cheaper. This, in turn, reduces Dutch treasury tax income, the lobbyists say.

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