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Thu, Aug 24, 2023 11:45 AM

Advocacy Group Calls for Increase in Sugar Sweetened Beverages Tax to 20%

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Advocacy Group Calls for Increase in Sugar Sweetened Beverages Tax to 20%
A non-governmental organization called Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has advocated for an increase in the Sugar Sweetened Beverage (SSBs) tax from N10 to 20% of the final retail price. The organization stresses that the current tax rate is insignificant and needs to be adjusted to make a meaningful impact on consumption rates and the nation's healthcare sector.

ABUJA - The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has called on the Federal Government to review the Sugar Sweetened Beverage (SSBs) tax to 20% of the final retail price. The current tax rate of N10 per litre is deemed insignificant and may not effectively reduce the overconsumption of SSBs.

Akinbode Oluwafemi, the Executive Director of CAPPA, stated during a press conference in Abuja that there is a strong need for increased taxation on SSBs to safeguard public health. SSBs are known to have links to cancer, obesity, diabetes, and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs). By increasing the tax rate, the government can discourage excessive consumption and generate revenue for the healthcare sector.

Oluwafemi highlighted the importance of not succumbing to the pressures of SSB producers, emphasizing that the government has a responsibility to protect the populace. He urged the government to initiate a legislative process to ensure the sustainability of the tax and make adjustments for inflation.

The CAPPA coalition, composed of various non-governmental organizations, also recommended the inclusion of all SSBs in the tax regime and transparent reporting of tax collections and expenditure breakdowns. The coalition emphasizes the significance of earmarking tax revenue to address healthcare-related issues and promote public welfare.

The call for an increased SSB tax rate echoes global efforts to address the negative health impact of sugary beverages. Many countries have implemented similar taxation policies to discourage excessive sugar consumption and combat rising obesity rates.

Opponents of the tax increase argue that it could lead to higher prices for consumers and adversely affect the beverage industry. However, CAPPA contends that the potential benefits to public health outweigh any short-term economic concerns.

Taxation policies targeting unhealthy products have proven to be effective in reducing consumption. Several studies have shown that higher taxes on sugary beverages can lead to decreased sales and decreased consumption among vulnerable populations, such as children and low-income individuals.

By increasing the SSB tax rate to 20% of the final retail price, the government can send a strong message about the health risks associated with excessive sugar intake. It will not only discourage consumption but also provide additional funds to invest in healthcare infrastructure, prevention programs, and public awareness campaigns regarding the adverse effects of SSBs.

In conclusion, the advocacy group, CAPPA, is urging the government to review and increase the Sugar Sweetened Beverages tax from N10 to 20% of the final retail price. This move aims to reduce the overconsumption of sugary beverages, combat obesity and related health issues, and generate revenue for the nation's healthcare sector. The government's commitment to public health and corporate accountability should guide its decision-making regarding this taxation policy.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-08-24 News

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