26 Feb 2016 14:30pm
WINDHOEK, 26 FEB (NAMPA) - Namibians who smoke cigarettes and consume alcohol are digging deeper into their pockets as a result of drastic increases in 'sin taxes', effective as from this past Wednesday.
Presenting the N.dollars 66 billion 2016/17 National Budget in National Assembly on Thursday, Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein announced excise duty increases of 6,7 per cent on cigarettes and 8,2 per cent in spirits and 8, 5 per cent in malt beer.
The increases were effective as from 24 February 2016.
This means one packet of 20 Dunhill cigarettes that costs about N.dollars 40 will increase with N.dollars 2.68 while one litre of a well-known brandy costing about N.dollars 179 has increased with N.dollars 15.26.
Taking into account sales volumes and targets set for total tax burden on respective excisable commodities, the sin tax percentage increases have been agreed upon to become applicable retrospectively with effect from 24 February 2016 as required under the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) agreement.
Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland are members of SACU.
Meanwhile the excise duties increases on unfortified wine and sparkling wine is 8 per cent; fortified wine by 6,7 per cent; ciders and alcoholic fruit beverages 8,5 per cent.
Excise duties on cigarette tobacco increased by 6,8 per cent, while the excise duties on pipe tobacco increased by 7 per cent, and cigars by 6,7 per cent.
Schlettwein said these amended rates of duty are set out in more detail in the Taxation Proposal tabled on Thursday in terms of section 65 (1) of the Customs and Excise Act of 1998 and which will be deemed to have come into operation on Wednesday.
He explained that a government notice to this effect will be tabled in the National Assembly soon.
Discussions on the 2016/17 National Budget will commence next Tuesday.