The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)

‘Plain packets will destroy small firms’


New laws designed to put people off smoking could lead to the closure of 700 shops in Scotland.

A leading business research centre says that thousands of jobs are at stake if the UKand Scottish Government­s force cigarette manufactur­ers to use plain packaging.

UK Government ministers were criticised recently for putting its plans for plain packs south of the border on hold.

But the Scottish Government is pressing ahead with the policy – which could spell disaster for our ailing high streets, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).

In a paper published today, the centre warns the plans will increase illicit t r ade and f orce customers to shift from con- venience retailers larger stores.

In Scotland alone, Cebr forecasts the loss of about £30million of tobacco and non-tobacco revenues to independen­t retailers, the loss of over 3,200 jobs and the closure of between 600 and 700 shops.


They expect the time it takes for staff to identify their favourite brand under the new regime will force people to abandon their local retailer and pick up their cigarettes with their weekly shopping.

These job losses aremore likely to be concentrat­ed in cities and their suburbs.

Oliver Hogan, Cebr head of microecono­mics, said: “Ourfinding­sshowthat the potential impact of this plain packaging policy could be traumatic.

“The closures of these small retailers would deal a body blow to high streets across Scotland.

“The evidence supports our conclusion that tobacco customers will flock to illegal street vendors, buy bulk from abroad and make purchases from larger stores.

“Thousands will lack the patience as queues mount for the till in a small shop as a small staff tries to find the right cigarettes among the plain packaging.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We remain committed to introducin­g standardis­ed packaging, given the strong evidence to support the impact it will haveonprev­enting young people from starting to smoke.

“We are identifyin­g an appropriat­e timescale to introduce legislatio­n on standardis­ed packaging to the Scottish Parliament.” More than half of employers do not publish salaries in their job adverts, new research has shown.

A study by search engine revealed that property and healthcare firms are the most transparen­t about the pay rates they offer, with nine out of 10 adverts listing a wage.

Energy firms and executive job listings are less likely to show salaries, according to research among 500,000 adverts.

Aberdeen, Glasgow and Belfast are said to be the most “secretive” cities. A third of office workers do not take all their holiday leave, with some employees actually feeling guilty about asking for time off, new research has shown.

Almost one in seven take their full leave entitlemen­t only because they are forced to by their company, a survey of 1,000 workers by employment firm Adecco also revealed.

Half of those questioned said they would cancel a holiday for a work commitment. Clashes in Nigeria are threatenin­g stability in Africa's oil exports.

Fighting between soldiers and members of Islamist sect Boko Haram have killed 18 people over the weekend in north-east Nigeria, a military source said.

Shops have been burned and civilians shot at, the spokesman added.

 ??  ?? BLANK LOOK: Plain packaging will close down tobacconis­ts, say trade experts
BLANK LOOK: Plain packaging will close down tobacconis­ts, say trade experts

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