Sin taxes increase amid booze ban
A bottle of spirits, like whiskey, gin or vodka, will now cost N$2.89 more.
28 May 2020 | Economics
Despite the ban on alcohol imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus, sin taxes will increase for the current financial year, finance minister Ipumbu Shiimi announced in his maiden budget delivered yesterday.
As a consequence, a 340ml cider will now cost eight cents more, 750ml of wine will cost an extra 14 cents and 750ml of sparkling wine will cost an extra 61 cents while a bottle of spirits, which include whiskey, gin, brandy and vodka, will cost N$2.89 more.
Smokers will also feel the pinch, with a packet of 20 cigarettes costing 74 cents more while 25 gram of piped tobacco will cost an extra 74 cents and a 23-gram cigar will cost a whopping N$6.73 more.
Commenting on the revised taxes, Shiimi said it acted as a deterrent to spending on alcohol and tobacco products on the part of customers.
“The current ban on the sale of alcohol products due to the coronavirus saves consumers from sin taxes,” he added.
Shiimi noted no new tax increases for the current financial year.
“Given the challenging economic landscape, this is not the time to introduce new taxes,” he said.
He however mentioned that persons earning above N$50 000 annually would be subject to paying taxes going forward.
“Fellow Namibians, those who earn above the tax threshold must pay commensurate tax, irrespective of the type of economic activity from which they derive their income.
“This money is needed to pay for medicines, school books, construction and maintenance of roads and other critical public goods and services the public enjoys,” Shiimi said.