SAAPA: The tax on alcohol and smoke have to be referred to as a well being tax

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The political group SAAPA SA has asked Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to significantly increase the excise tax on alcohol when he outlines the annual budget.

The South African Alliance for Alcohol Policy in South Africa (SAAPA SA) says the Treasury Department needs to raise excise taxes on alcohol to stop excessive consumption and raise funds to promote public health.

Excise tax is a special tax on items that can harm people, such as alcohol, tobacco, sugar, and fuel.

It is usually increased every year.

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Dr. Sue Goldstein, a board member of SAAPA SA, says the government and citizens need to stop calling the excise tax a “sin tax”.

Dr. Goldstein argues that this tax should be called a health tax because it is being used as a budgetary tool to promote health and fight alcohol abuse.

She has a co-author Opinion posting for Maverick Citizen Explain why Mboweni’s budget should increase the excise tax on alcohol.

Dr. Goldstein told CapeTalk that the alcohol health tax can only be truly effective if implemented in conjunction with other government controls and interventions.

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It’s actually not a sin tax, it’s a health tax, and I think people need to start thinking about it in different ways.

Dr. Sue Goldstein, board member of the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance

It does not increase significantly. For example, if you look at the relative increase in alcohol taxes, it has remained pretty static over the past 20 years. It rose slightly, but it actually didn’t keep up with inflation.

Dr. Sue Goldstein, board member of the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance

The point about the tax is that these goods – alcohol, tobacco, and sugary drinks – are not only unnecessary in our lives, but also harmful. They harm the population and the tax authorities. They cost us a lot of money as a country.

Dr. Sue Goldstein, board member of the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance

The point about the tax is that we are trying to reclaim a little bit to improve people’s health and get some money back into the treasury too.

Dr. Sue Goldstein, board member of the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance

Listen to the breakfast discussion with Refilwe Moloto:


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