The member of the European Parliament representing North West England, Paul Nuttall, has spoken out against news that the European Commission is ‘considering hiking up tax on healthier electronic cigarettes,’ according to a note posted on the website of the UKIP party, of which Nuttall is deputy leader.
The Commission is said to have asked excise duty experts from across the EU to consider the ‘best way to achieve fiscal equal treatment’ of electronic and tobacco cigarettes.
“I am a great fan of e-cigs and UKIP has been very supportive of the practice because it is healthier and a source of jobs for innovative British companies,” said Nuttall, who is described as a new e-cig convert. ‘The British government must stand up against these measures and UKIP undertakes to oppose any legislation from the EU to put tax on electronic cigarettes.
“I have never seen a private pleasure that the EU does not want to tax. Of course this move will hike up the cost of vaping e-cigarettes, and thus push more people back to ordinary and less healthy cigarettes.
“This move unmasks the EU’s real intent of its Tobacco Directive which was to tax all cigarettes more and help governments make more money. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, ‘The EU’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”