'Sin tax' up by five per cent

07 Mar 2018 19:20pm
WINDHOEK, 07 MAR (NAMPA) – The ‘sin tax’ on alcohol and tobacco products has been increased by five per cent.
Tabling the N.dollars 65 billion national budget for the 2018/19 financial year in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein, said the tax is being increased for national revenue purposes.
The prices of malt beer, ciders and alcoholic fruit beverages and sparkling wine will increase by 10 per cent.
Spirits, cigars, pipe tobacco, cigarette tobacco, cigarettes and unfortified wine received an increase of 8,5 per cent, while fortified wine will increase by six per cent.
Schlettwein said the increases are done in terms of the South African Customs Union (SACU) Agreement and taking into account sales volumes and targets set for the total tax burdens on the respective excisable commodities.
‘Sin taxes’ are imposed with the dual purpose of increasing government revenue and discouraging the consumption of affected products that in many cases lead to preventable and non-communicable diseases.
The public’s consumption of the mostly imported goods also strain a country’s foreign reserves which are used the purchase the products.