Smart tax on alcohol will counter bootleggers

21 February 2021 - 00:00 By ELIZABETH ALLEN

As finance minister Tito Mboweni prepares to deliver his budget, he is faced with various challenges, including GDP that contracted by 8%, rising unemployment and government debt, and a demand to finance a Covid-19 vaccine initiative while stimulating the economy into a positive growth path.

One of the contributing factors to this economic conundrum for the government of SA is the total ban of alcohol sales three times in a single financial year — leading to a R36.3bn loss in sales revenue and a R29.3bn loss in direct tax contribution (including excise tax). In addition, 200,000 of the 1-million jobs supported by the industry value chain are believed to have been lost as a result...

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