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Volume 129: debated on Wednesday 9 March 1988

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many cigarettes were released for home consumption during the six months following the last Budget and the previous two periods of six months; what estimates he has made on the effect on cigarette sales if he had raised cigarette tax in line with inflation; and if he will make a statement.

The figures requested are as follows:

Clearances of cigarettes for home consumption
April to September 198637
October 1986 to March 198758
April 1987 to September 198741
Clearances of cigarettes for home consumption are subject to significant variations—especially on account of forestalling of Budget or manufacturers' price increases. Clearances do not necessarily therefore reflect consumption during that period.It is estimated that cigarette consumption would have been about 1 per cent. lower in 1987–88 if the duty had been revalorised in the 1987 Budget (no duty increase).