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Cited as one of the main contributing factor to the surge in violent crimes from murder to rape not to mention traffic fatalities and casualties, it has forced the government’s hand to increase the excise tax on alcohol.
“That is an affirmative,” says Minister of Revenue also in charge of the Liquor Control Board, (LCB) Tialavea Fea Leniu Tionisio Hunt acknowledging the government’s support to the Samoa Law Reform Commission recommendation.
After extensive review which included public hearings to garner the viewpoints from stakeholders, the Commission has also recommended for the price of alcohol to be increased through excise tax.
“However, care should also be taken so that the increase does not render it unsustainable for businesses in the alcohol industry to operate,” continued the recommendation.
“Most notably, the Commission has recommended for the percentage increase of excise tax to correspond with the percentage increase of alcohol content in an alcoholic beverage. “Therefore, the higher the alcohol content, the higher the excise tax imposed.
“The Commission also recommended for the excise tax on low volume alcohol to be reduced to encourage the production of low strength/volume alcohol.”
And Tialavea agrees noting that information received by the LCB indicates that certain local manufacturers of liquor are not playing by the rules by processing liquor over and above the legal alcohol content.
“The liquor bottles call Maso is one,” he added.
“Information has it the Maso vodka is selling at under $10 tala (US$4) for a 7mil bottle.
“And the contents are extremely potent and can get four or five adults completely intoxicated.”
The Attorney General’s Office is presently drafting the Alcohol Control Bill 2017 for Cabinet approval before it’s tabled in Parliament.
And it contains the new amendment to increase excise tax as recommended.
SOURCE: SAMOA GOVT/PACNEWS
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