CAPE TOWN - Sometimes people seem to need saving from themselves, and this year’s budget, as most in recent memory, reflects that yet again.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced in his annual budget speech on Wednesday that if you can’t kick the bad habits, government is doing its part in helping. Or at the very least you will have to cut down on other spending if your beverage of choice is of the kind only for sale to those above 18 years of age.
Gordan proposed an increase in excise duties for alcohol and tobacco of between 6% (six) and 10% (ten).
But sugar addiction is also still in the target.
Gordhan says talks on tax on sugary beverages are still in place. He said between these discussions and working with the Department of Health, they are also evaluating the merits of the taxes including both intrinsic and added sugar - in other words the hidden sugars in tinned food could also be taxed.
According to Gordhan: “The tax will be implemented later this year once details are finalised and the legislation is passed.”
While excise duties for Traditional African beer will remain unchanged at the current 7,82c/litre, the tax burdens for other alcoholic beverages will see a rise in duty rates, increasing by 6,1% and 9,5%.
These figures are 11% for wine, 23% for beer and 36% for spirits of the weighted average retail price.
Since 2002, tax rates on alcohol have consistently increased above inflation every year.
The targeted tax burden of the most popular brands of tobacco and cigarettes is 40%, and seeing as the cigar smokers are choosing more exclusive brands, a higher increase is required to maintain the tax burden.
The excise duty for Cuban delights and their ilk is proposed to increase by between 8% and 9,5%.