As has become the norm, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel has announced a range of excise duty increases on alcohol and tobacco products as part of the Treasury's 2008 Budget proposals.
The increases are in line with government's ongoing policy of maintaining a fixed level of tax incidence on these products.
According to the latest "sin tax" proposals in the Budget unveiled by Manuel yesterday, only traditional African beer escaped an increase in duty.
Excise duties on sparkling wine, unfortified wine, fortified wine, malt beer, alcoholic fruit beverages and spirits will increase by 10 percent, 8,5 percent, 10 percent, eight percent, eight percent and 10,5 percent, respectively.
These are in line with the government's policy decision to maintain a total tax burden (excise duty plus VAT) of 23 percent, 33 percent and 43 percent, respectively, on wine products, malt beer and spirits.
At the same time, the excise duties on cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, pipe tobacco and cigars will increase by 10,7 percent, 5,3 percent, 5,8 percent, and 10,5 percent, respectively.
Alcohol and smoking sin taxes are expected to raise about R1,5-billion over the course of the financial year. - I-Net Bridge