Saeima endorses raising excise tax on sugary soft drinks

On May 23 the Latvian parliament supported introducing a differentiated excise tax on soft drinks with added sugar in the second, non-final reading.

81 MPs voted 'for' the proposal, while 3 voted against.

At the moment soft drinks with added sugar are uniformly taxed €0.074 per 100 ml. MPs now propose differentiating the tax, with the sweetest drinks taxed more than thrice the current rate in the bill under discussion.

Specifically, drinks containing up to five grams of sugar per 100 ml would be taxed at €0.074 per 100 ml (the current rate); while drinks containing between eight to five grams of sugar would  be taxed €0.10 per 100 ml; and drinks containing upwards of eight grams of sugar per 100 ml would be taxed €0.3. 

The proposal has been introduced to promote healthy lifestyle choices. It comes from MP Andris Skride of the liberal Development/For! party.

If adopted in the third, final reading the hike would come into effect June 1, 2020. 

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Economy