The government today announced new taxes on plastic and sugar in a bid to battle environmental pollution and the increase in Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) respectively.
Whilst SIG estimates to earn millions of dollars in these new taxes it also highlights the grave concerns that these items impacted on the lives of Solomon Islanders.
Delivering the 2021 Budget this morning, the Minister of Finance and Treasury, Harry Kuma, said there will be additional taxes on the importation of plastics and sugar as amongst the new measures to bolster government revenues.
He reveals that as part of the DCCG policy on pollution and clean environment— a 50 cent environmental levy is proposed to plastics – which is identified as a major environmental pollution.
He said single use and harmful plastics are going to attract the tax.
Kuma estimates that the increase will earn the government an additional $1.1m a year and it will discourage the importation of plastic and encourage the use of environmentally friendly products other than plastics.
At the same time— the minister has also announced that there is also additional tax on sugar that is $1 per KG and the government is expected to collect $7m per annum. Additionally, there will also be new levy on sugary soft-drinks which is $1 per kilogram and a further $6m is expected to enter the government coffers each year.
Kuma said the increases are part of the government’s strategy to fight Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs). These will come into force on 1 May 2021.
According to the Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, about 70 percent of the deaths at the NRH are NCD related.