Alcohol drinkers and smokers to pay more

01 Apr 2015 12:30pm
WINDHOEK, 01 APR (NAMPA) – Whiskey drinkers and smokers have been hit the hardest with the new 'sin tax' that will have a pack of 20 cigarettes going up by 82 cents and the alcoholic beverage by N.dollars 3.77.
The Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein tabled the 2015/2016 National Budget in Parliament on Tuesday.
Sin taxes are concentrated on cigarettes, beer, wine and other liquor, as well as tobacco and increase on a year-to-year basis. In line with the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) common excise policy, the excise duty rates (sin taxes) on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products should increase.
A packet of LD cigarettes, now costing N.dollars 22.00, will increase to N.dollars 22.82 while a packet of Dunhill, now costing N.dollars 46.00 will increase to N.dollars 46.82.
The price of a litre of J&B whiskey is currently about N.dollars 253.93 and will increase to about N.dollars 257.70, while the price of a litre of Johny Walker Red Label is N.dollars 280.81 and will increase to about N.dollars 284.58, depending on the retailer.
The tax on a quarter of beer goes up by 15 and a halve cents meaning, a Tafel Lager will cost between N.dollars 13.16 to N.dollars 15.16, while a bottle of wine that now costs about N.dollars 45.00 will cost N.dollars 45.15 cents. The price of a bottle of sparkling wine that is about N.dollars 50.00 will increase to N.dollars 50.15.
In the 2014/2015 financial year, excise duties on beer went up by 9,5 per cent, wine by 20 per cent, spirits by 10 per cent, cigarettes by 11,5 per cent, and on cigars by 14,9 per cent.
Schlettwein said: “Namibia believes in the relevance of SACU as the engine of regional integration and industrialisation. We believe that SACU revenues are currently broadly shared in a manner that reflects the realities of the SACU economies and the proportional benefits accruing from the market share of the Member States in the Customs Union.”
Meanwhile, according to a media statement issued by the British American Tobacco (BAT) in the light of World No Smoking Day in June 2014, the BAT called on governments across southern Africa to carefully consider the unintended consequences of increased taxes on tobacco products with the intention of reducing tobacco consumption.
BAT says it does not believe that an increase in taxes on tobacco products will result in decreased consumption and instead, smokers may continue to look for cheaper, often illicit products.
“What’s more is that the call for increased taxation on tobacco products is being made from within a context of already high tobacco taxes across southern Africa and an economic environment in which the disposable income of consumers remains stretched,” it added.