Taxes to be increased on alcohol, cigarettes and high sugar foods

TaxesAn 10 percent tax increase will be placed on cigars, cigarettes, alcohol beverages, as well as food and drinks with a a high sugar content, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has revealed.

“Cigars, cigarettes and alcoholic beverages already attract an excise tax. The excise tax rate on all these items will be increased by 10 per cent,” Skerrit said while presenting the national Budget for the 2015-2016 financial year on Friday.

The Prime Minister justified this new tax measure by citing the “bad practices” of smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol and foods with high sugar content, as major contributors to ill health.

“While we have introduced interventions to encourage physical activity, there is need to take action to reduce the consumption of substances, which have a direct causal link to the incidence of CNCD’s,” he said.

He said in order to discourage the use of these items, sugar confectionery – that is, sweets and candy, soft drinks and other sweetened drinks, including energy drinks, and chocolate bars will be taxed.

The new rates will become effective from September 1st, 2015.

Skerrit said the revenues collected from this measure will contribute to the production and maintenance of a national “Get Healthy” Campaign, “in which we take the message to our schools, civic and community organisations, churches and NGOs and the public at large.”

Meanwhile, he urged individuals to take greater responsibility for their health.

“A good health care system, and a hospital on its own, will not prevent illness,” Skerrit explained. “There must be greater emphasis on prevention, we must make healthier choices in what we eat and drink, and take the responsibility for remaining active, so as to reduce the possibilities for developing chronic non-communicable diseases.”

He also reiterated his call for Dominicans to support local, pointing out that the success of the country’s local manufacturers and producers depends in large measure on the support that they receive from the population.

“If we continue to believe that everything that is produced elsewhere is better than what is produced in Dominica, then we will never be in a position to have large producers, who can provide the jobs that we want for our young people,” he argued.

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38 Comments

  1. Truth
    July 27, 2015

    The only sad reality about this latest tax hike is this, if all the smokers ,drinkers , and sweettooths in Dominica quit their bad habits, the island economy would blow up in 48 hours!

  2. July 27, 2015

    It was about time good thing

  3. carrotop
    July 27, 2015

    Tax your fast food junk foods, now I drink coffee black, my spouse with sugar, now tell me how are you going to figure out the tax on a bill???????????????????????.

  4. wht
    July 27, 2015

    the fact of the matter is that it is cheaper to buy unhealthy foods. but what about the price on healthy foods, local organic product as well as imported products. these foods are way more expensive to purchase on a regular bases. so i feel eating healthy should be made more affordable to the average consumer who gets an average or small salary. I can only think to suggest to raise taxes on unhealthy imported products but drop taxes on healthy foods. and for the local produce, organic manure for plant should an investment in this country on a way wider and professional scale. hence use of less inorganic fertilizers.

  5. me
    July 27, 2015

    what about raising taxes on imported water?we boast of 365 rivers however we importing all kinds of water from countries that dont even have rivers.

  6. Doc. Love
    July 27, 2015

    According to Hon Lennox Linton, the Skeritt Administration is really and truly a cannot-do Government. I wonder if the Prime Minister consulted the medical experts before he jumped to the conclusion that confectionaries, alcohol and cigarettes are the main culprits for the quality of health in present Dominica. Skeritt has a sinking economy, therefore he wants to boast of a no taxed budget, he threw in these items under a disguise so he could still shout no new taxes. Dominica is blessed with an abundance of fruits which are consumed more then water, isn’t he aware of the sugar contents of the many fruits that are consumed in Dominica. He is holding the usage of cigarettes and alcohol responsible for some of the health issues, and instead of educating the people as regards preventative health measures, his about to open a PIG slaughtering house. Maybe, the pork which will be fed to Dominicans has no cholesterol.

  7. my own vomit
    July 27, 2015

    I really like the last paragraph because Mr. Skerro is finally admitting that he deprived many young men of a job when the stadium was 98% “made in China”, the state palace 99% “made in China” the EO LeBlanc road was 98% ” made in China”, and 100% of his 2014 election T/shirts and manifesto were made in Barbados. The vomit stinks

  8. kimrah
    July 27, 2015

    TAX my good ness so much tax.The tax on rum and cigs make sence. But not on candy.TAX on road make sence .But tax on food need to drop . People will suffer in Dominica .LAbour need to go they will finish kill Dominica with TAX.

  9. Ma Moses
    July 27, 2015

    Roosevelt Skerrit is no more than an absentee landlord. Like the old time sugar barons he is milking his estate for all its worth to pay for a life of luxury and privilege elsewhere. Imagine that and we are still voting for it! We must be an uneducated bunch of fools that is all I can say.

  10. July 26, 2015

    Mr Min of finance one good piece of advice to you; add 1000% VAT and punitive Tax on Bobol and Corruption the treasury would recoup some much needed revenue; What do you have to say about dat BOSS!!!. The only things (Cigarette and Rum) which preventing more Dominicans from going Crazy or Mad (whichever) you increasing the tax.

  11. Dummiesincans
    July 26, 2015

    Stupidity of skerrit never cease to amaze me, people turn to addictions to cope with there problems for example
    stress reduces your potassium in your body causing u to crave other minerals, or people turn to alcohol to deal
    With hopelessness, you increase Dominica debt to 1.3 billion u make no sacrifice for yourself or your ministers but u
    Punishing people who are directly affected by your mistakes if u was in Greece people would stone you.

  12. Gutsy move PM
    July 26, 2015

    Very brave move PM! No one can say 10 years from now that you did not do your part to encourage healthy living in Dominica, especially when you stand to lose the political support of the merchants and importers of these foods and drinks.

  13. TRUTH , No lie
    July 26, 2015

    skeritt ,;; Nothing in your house is locally made .every thing came from guyana ,not from dominica , Not even your flowers thats local ,they were ordered from overseas ,they came down in a container,
    Your child did;nt born here ,you sent your wife to the us to make your child ,You so didnt want a local child
    You are not even local anymore ,you are a foreiner , you spend a lot more time out of dominica ,than you spend here,,90 percent of jobs now in dominice ,you give to non locals,your main adviser is a non local,
    you just ran a campaign ,which was non local .even you stage came from outside of dominica,
    All your performers came from overseas, and was paid large sums of money .and so on ,and so forth,MAN
    you really understand your supporters to be fools ,and thats the only reason you could make such a statement,Telling then to buy local ,while you shop overseas, But you do right , ,ba yo bwa, yo to sot,you already have them under your spell, So they will do as told…

    • Informant
      July 27, 2015

      And what does his personal life have to do with that? Why can’t we stick to the issue in focus?

    • proud Dominican
      July 27, 2015

      Truth no lie you Could not have said this any better my dear. While reading the article i was saying the same thing in my mind. LOCAL MY FOOT! Everything he doing is NEVER LOCAL

    • SMH
      July 27, 2015

      This person must have only completed high school, if fortunate… It’s like saying, if Paul jumps off a cliff, Peter should too. Don’t be ridiculous. Support local. Everything has to be political? Everything? So what if his son wasn’t born here? What that have to do with you? And is one child he has? Where was the other one born?…. Okay…. I thought so. I’m sure you have a nenen, paweh, brother or sisters living overseas. Don’t pass as a fool. I’m also sure that you took assistance from the government…Is always allu two-face, taking from the government then bashing everything they do. The government cannot do right in your eyes. Hypocrite.

  14. ema
    July 26, 2015

    I agree with you on this one i sincerely hope that the funds generated from this measures are utilized in the ways you have outlined and not to turn your sugar coated pocket to syrup.

  15. diabless
    July 26, 2015

    Tax unearned wealth by re-imposing the ESTATE DUTIES/INHERITANCE TAX abolished by Dame Eugenia Mary Charles Brian Alleyne, Charles Maynard, Babs Dyer and the rest.

    • anonymous2
      July 27, 2015

      Don’t worry, they will get around to that. They will increase taxes of items already taxed and will add as many more to the list as possible to impoverish the island even more and drive up crime. The cruise ship visits may lessen as a result of increased fees also. This place will become destitute, strangled by the bankers. The Chinese already hold a large stake and will be exempt. You watch.lso

  16. set by example
    July 26, 2015

    “If WE continue to believe that everything that is produced elsewhere is better than what is produced in Dominica, then we will never be in a position to have large producers, who can provide the jobs that we want for our young people,” he argued. Actions speaks louder than words. Instead of we you should substitute skerrit, me, myself and i i i .

    Your concern is on foods with high sugar content. You omitted high salt content, which is far more dangerous and can eventually affect your heart and kidney. Salt does not provide energy. When the unifromed police fainted is sugar that revived him.

  17. July 26, 2015

    10% is not enough. What about taxes on KFC and all these other fast food joints in roseau????

  18. Jahlove
    July 26, 2015

    Ahhh!!! More tax. Well they love their PM so take it. But one ting Mr.Skerrit every rope has it end.Enjoy your reign while it last.

  19. too late
    July 26, 2015

    wasnt there an increase for some chicken parts also?

  20. Domspice
    July 26, 2015

    I don’t mind the increased taxes on these food and drink categories but what about the foods and drinks high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats.

    According to the Prime Minister, who justified this new tax measure by citing the “bad practices” of smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol and foods with high sugar content, as major contributors to ill health.

    This begs the question, why are we leaving out the above mentioned categories? Isn’t these categories part of the “bad practices” too?

    If we are serious about propagating a healthily diet then all categories of foods and drinks that contribute to ill health should see an increase in taxes and not just pick a few categories at our whims and fancies and tax them.

    • anonymous2
      July 27, 2015

      You people don’t need a third party to hang you, you hang yourselves. People who want the prohibition items, will get them one way or another. Increasing the taxes on those items does nothing to deter their purchase. Peoples’ ‘ habits die hard. The taxes are not for the good of the people, they are for the pockets of the bankers. People here are so hard headed and short-sighted. They can’t see the forest for the trees. Look at how hard it is with just the 15% tax and now people think that things are going to improve with more taxes which they THINK will go toward fixing roads, healthcare, etc. Look at the billions in debt that Skerrit just told you about. The debt collectors have come to collect.

  21. Positive vibes
    July 26, 2015

    That’s a step in the right direction. More money can be allocated to ministry of health for fighting diabetes etc

  22. Dan Tanner
    July 26, 2015

    On the up-side, increased revenue for the government. On the down side: (1) the government will misuse or steal much of it, (2) the government will become dependent upon “sin” taxes, and (3) incentives to smuggle. etc. will increase.

    Sugar, in the form of candies, sweetened cereals, etc. are harming Dominicans.

    • anonymous2
      July 27, 2015

      The govt. is not in charge of collecting the money anymore. The bankers took over at the end of may. The PM is no longer in charge of finance. He is taking orders from the bankers. People need to pay attention to what goes on in Parliament and what is said..

  23. concerned citizen
    July 26, 2015

    Amazing. In ‘2009 the budget consultation’ Dr Fitzroy Armour suggested these exact measures and a stop to the discriminatory tax policy which penalizes married families by taxing thier expenditure on maintainance of children in wedlock while rewarding those who have children out of wedlock by giving tax free child mentanance.
    He also suggested that the only way the country could grow economically is by encouraging businesses to reinvest in growth by giving a tax break on profits reinvested and on employee development/training. And by encouraging ‘ angel investors’

  24. Jayson
    July 26, 2015

    He found the perfect excuse to increase taxes. It’s that nasty imported beaten up chicken that’s a real killer.

    Why not decrease taxes on healthy foods and start demanding from those who lead us to start living by example especially in regards to their excessive alcohol consumption and in their lack of physical activity….

  25. gadathy
    July 26, 2015

    Mr.Pm u increasing the tax is one im 100 percent in support but u need to pass laws for those who smoke should not do so in public u go to a bar to buy a drink or play domino the place is filled with smokers ask them politely to smoke outside their response” tell him doh sell it” i went to the windsor park canada vs dominica i was sitting all the way up boi look ganga smoking and a police woman there and if u see the faces of the young men u have to have good guts to approach them as a woman police officer especially she was alone a young lady shout out i didnt come here to be smoked one of the smoker respond girl hush ur mother……………..,…. now for the sweet tooth we need teachers and parents to play their part let the kid kwon the effects it could have on them.

  26. Just Me
    July 26, 2015

    Hmm….more money to paid by taxpayers only to be WASTED by this gor van ment!!!

    Labour ka twa viay!!!!!

  27. VEJ
    July 26, 2015

    he should increase the tax by 50 % on these items ! seriously! I support this one!

    • anonymous2
      July 27, 2015

      I bet you don’t live in DA.

  28. July 26, 2015

    no more getting drunk ….. :)

  29. Nunya
    July 26, 2015

    Earlier in the budget address Mr. is praising the rejuvenation of the cacao industry, then he announces a 10% increase on chocolate tax?

  30. Cyrique
    July 26, 2015

    Excellent. Hopefully this will lead to a healthier DOMINICA! I stopped smoking 28 years ago. Thank God! I drink socially but not like some who have a high dependency on alcohol. Mind you, there are sometimes some serious underlying issues. Many might need counselling & help with withdrawal symptoms. Well done PM!

  31. July 26, 2015

    We live in a Global village, when America sneezes, the whole world cat he’s the cold. Way to go, Mr. Pm. Long live Dominica. God bless America.

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