Green List Supports New “SIn Taxes” on Cigarettes, Alcohol and Soft Drinks

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, August 13, 2018 – The Green List (Zelena Lista) on Monday supported Health Minister Milan Kujundžić’s suggestion that he will insist on higher taxes on cigarettes and spirits, however, this non-parliamentary party criticises the minister for failing to propose higher excise duties on soft and carbonated drinks.

“Having in mind the fact that the intention is to increase excise duties on products which are harmful to health and which raise costs of treatment of patients in the healthcare system, we are surprised to see the minister exempting sugar-sweetened beverages producers from this measure,” the Green List says in a press release.

The party says it hopes that the is not about the influence of lobbies on policy making.

The press release reads that some statistics show that a fifth of the health budget goes on treating diabetes and obesity, which are consequences of the consumption of unhealthy food and fizzy drinks. Currently, 286,000 persons in Croatia are diagnosed with diabetes, and an estimated 450,000 may be at risk of this disease. An analysis shows that in 2016, the cost of treating diabetes in 2016 required 4.5 billion kuna, nearly a fifth (20%) of the HZZO (Health Insurance Fund) budget, and the lion’s share, 88%, went on chronic complications.

Therefore, the party suggests that a portion of revenues through the collection of higher excise taxes on soft and carbonated drinks can be channelled into the fund for prevention and treatment of diabetes.

It recalls that the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (the sugar tax) has recently come into force in Great Britain and that taxation of fizzy drinks is in line with recommendations made by the economic council of Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

The Green List also proposes measures to facilitate the sale of natural homemade juices in cafes and restaurants.

Higher taxes on cigarettes and alcohol are sometimes called corrective or ‘sin taxes’ because they are imposed also partly to discourage use of the product because the choice to use the products has costs to the user and increases health care costs.


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