Smokers, drinkers to feel the pinch

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has announced an increase on excise duties that will leave smokers and drinkers with a hangover.

Tabling his 2018 Budget Speech at the National Assembly on Wednesday, Minister Gigaba said alcohol and tobacco excise duties will increase between 6 and 10%.

For malt beer, the current excise duty rate stands at R86.39 per litre of absolute alcohol, or 146.9 cents per average 340ml can. This will go up by R95.03 per litre or 161.56 cents per 340ml can.

Unfortified wine will go up from R3.61 per litre to R3.91 per litre, while fortified wine will increase to R6.54 per litre from R6.17 per litre.

Ciders and alcoholic fruit beverages will go up by 10 percent to R95.03 per litre of absolute alcohol, while spirits will go up by 8.5 percent to R190.08 per litre of absolute alcohol.

For the smokers, excise on all tobacco products has been hiked by 8.5%.

Cigarettes will go up from R14.30 to R15.52 per box of 20 cigarettes, while cigarette tobacco will increase from R16.07 to R17.44 per 50 grams.

Pipe tobacco will go up from R4.56 to R4.94 per 25 grams while cigars go up to R82.31 per 23 grams compared to the current rate of R75.86 per 23 grams.

“The National Treasury and the Department of Health will explore additional measures to reduce consumption of tobacco products, including a minimum price and stronger enforcement,” the National Treasury said.

Meanwhile, the National Treasury said that the health promotion levy, which taxes sugar beverages, will be implemented from 1 April 2018.

“A policy brief on the use of taxes to encourage healthy choices will be published shortly,” the National Treasury said. –

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