Publicly-listed packaging company, API Group, claims the introduction of plain tobacco packaging would do significant damage to its business, according to its CEO.
Interviewed by the Hands Off Our Packs campaign, which opposes the introduction of plain packaging, API Group chief executive, Andrew Turner, said: “API is just the kind of medium sized manufacturing company which the government says it is relying on to drive the UK’s economic recovery and there are many others like us who depend to a greater or lesser extent on customers in the tobacco sector.
“So much of business is under attack these days for one reason or another and we seem to have lost sight of the vital importance of generating wealth to keep the economy afloat.
“We have heard a lot of fine words about reducing red tape and regulation, but the reality is the burden on business continues to increase inexorably. This is a classic test of the coalition government’s commitment to reversing that trend.
“Trade in counterfeit and illicit cigarettes is already generating hundreds of millions of pounds for the criminal economy and depriving the exchequer of a reported £3bn pa in lost tax revenues. Plain packaging would provide a massive boost to that trade by making counterfeiting much easier and reducing the perceived value of legitimate product.
“It’s about time we called a halt to the advance of the ‘nanny state’ and reasserted the historic British values of tolerance and freedom.”
Amul Pandya, Hands of Our Packs campaign, said: “It is important Government listens to all sides of the argument on this issue. Especially now the UK is in a recession, it is essential all the costs of this proposal are assessed against the supposed benefits. As such, we at Hands off Our Packs are determined business concerns are heard.”