Government has taken the extra step to try and curb alcohol-related incidents by increasing excise tax on liquor to 100 percent.
The increase applies only to all locally manufactured liquor.
Minister of Revenue, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, highlighted this during Parliament this week.
“The proposed measure is to counter the concerns raised by the Ministry of Police that the incidents they respond to in the villages’ day in and day out are a result of people consuming locally made liquor."
“Currently its $19.65 tax per liter, however with the proposed tax, it will increase the price to $38.60 for every bottle that has 40 percent alcohol volume."
“And also this Bill proposes a limitation of locally made liquor to a 40 percent alcohol volume. Also there will be no more liquor bottles underneath 500 milliliters,” explained Tialavea.
“Again the main reason behind the move to increase the taxes is to somehow eliminate the growing number of incidents."
“Most of the inmates incarcerated in jail, locally made liquor are the root of the problems.”
The Minister made it clear beer is not affected by the new excise taxes.
Also approved in Parliament last week was the Bill increasing the excise tax on sugary drinks, including wine by 3 percent.
It was introduced by Tialavea. The passing of the Bill was put through as a matter of urgency.
“This is not a huge increase and this law should have been effective in January 2018,” said Tialavea.
“As indicated before, it is not easy to bring forth such a Bill, given that it is taxation."
“The new increased excise rate is applicable to imported sugary drinks and locally made sugary drinks.”
The Bill seeks to amend the schedule of the Excise Tax Rates Act 1984 by replacing rates for tariffs for certain items with new tariff rates.
“The objective of the Bill is to increase the excise tax rates for sugary products by 3 percent from the current excise tax rate charged. This follows the Government’s revenue review completed in 2016."
Excise Tax Rates Amendment Bill (No.2) 2018 Samoa Explanatory Memorandum 1.0 object and reasons: 1.1
The Bill seeks to make amendments to the Schedule of the Excise Tax Rates Act 1984 by replacing rates for tariffs for certain items with new tariff rates. 1.2
The object of the Bill: (a) is to increase the excise tax rates for locally produced spirits to 100 percent from the current excise tax rate charged following the government’s revenue review completed in 2016; and (b) to limit the content for all alcohol to 40 percent.
Clauses: Clause 1: - provides for the short title and commencement. Clause 2: - provides for the amendments in the Schedule. 2 Schedule: - provides for increased excise tax rates for local produces spirits to 100 percent and to limit the content for all alcohol to 40 percent.