§ Mr. Coombs
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was his forecast of the consumption of cigarettes following the 1986 Budget; what is his current forecast; and to what extent the difference in these forecasts is attributable to the importation of foreign cigarettes.
§ Mr. Brooke
[pursuant to his reply, 19 December 1986, c. 747]: My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer does not publish estimates of the consumption of cigarettes, though of course in forming his Budget judgment he takes into account the likely effects of tax changes on the market. In the nine months to September, clearances of cigarettes were down by about 7.5 per cent. on the corresponding period of 1985. At present, about 11.5 per cent. of clearances are accounted for by imported cigarettes. This represents an increase in volume of about 3.5 per cent. on the previous year.