Harsher hangover for alcohol drinkers, smokers

FINANCE Minister Pravin Gordhan has announced an increase in sin taxes for consumers of alcohol and tobacco. Tabling his Budget Speech in the National Assembly on Wednesday, he said alcohol and tobacco excise duty rates will increase by between 6.1 and 9.5 per cent this year.

This is likely to leave a bitter taste in the mouths of alcohol drinkers and smokers, with increases likely to be passed on to consumers.

“This will lead to excise tax burdens that are slightly higher than the targets for beer and spirits. The targeted excise tax burden, as a percentage of the retail selling price of the most popular brand within each tobacco product category, is currently 40 per cent,” National Treasury said.

  • The new proposal means that an excise duty of 149.6 cents will be charged on every 340ml can of malt beer compared to the current 135c, which translates to a 9 per cent increase.
  • National Treasury proposes an excise duty of R3.61 per litre on unfortified wines, an increase of 8.8 per cent on the current charge of R3.31 per litre.
  • For fortified wines, the new rate being proposed is R6.17 per litre compared to R5.82 per litre, an increase of 6.1 per cent.
  • Excise duty for sparkling wine will go up by 8.8 per cent-from R10.53 to R11.46 per litre.
  • National Treasury proposes an increase of 8.5 per cent on spirit products – raising the excise duty to R175.19 per litre of absolute alcohol, or R56.50 per 750ml bottle.
A charge of R14.30 will be imposed on a box of 20 cigarettes, an increase of 8 per cent from the current R13.24 per 20 cigarettes. Cigarette tobacco products will be hit by the same increase, from R14.88 per 50g to R16.07 per 50g.

A charge of R14.30 will be imposed on a box of 20 cigarettes, which is an increase of eight per cent from the current R13.24 per 20 cigarettes. Cigarette tobacco products will be hit by the same increase, from R14.88 per 50g to R16.07 per 50g.

  • A 9.5 per cent excise duty will be charged on pipe tobacco and cigar products.

In November last year, government proposed raising the drinking age to 21 in an effort to curb alcoholism.

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