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Little cheer for drinkers, smokers as Mboweni hikes sin taxes

Drinkers and smokers will find little cheer in the 2020 budget following a hike in sin taxes which are expected to contribute R112.7 billion, together with customs duties, to the national fiscus.

Presenting his budget speech today, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced taxes on beer, ciders, non-sparkling wine, spirits and cigarettes will all increase by 4.4 percent with effect from March 1.

Users of pipe tobacco as well as cigar smokers will pay an additional 7.5 percent in sin taxes.

This will translate to an additional R2.89 for a 750ml bottle of whiskey, vodka or gin, and 7.5 cents more for a 340ml can of malt beer.

Sparkling wine will cost 61 cents more, a packet of 20 cigarettes will cost an additional 74 cents at the tills and a 23-gramme cigar will be R6.73 more expensive.

There will, however, be no increase in the price of sorghum beer.

Heated tobacco products such as hubbly bubbly, which have not been subject to excise duties, will start paying taxes immediately.

Consumers will also start paying taxes on e-cigarettes in 2021.

“In line with the Department of Health policy, we will start taxing heated tobacco products, for example bubbly bubbly. The rate will be set at 75 percent of the rate of cigarettes,” Mboweni said in his budget speech.

“Electronic cigarettes, or so-called vapes, will be taxed from 2021.” — Staff Reporter

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