Sin taxes must finance health

Sin taxes must finance health
Published: 18 January 2018 (81 Views)
Legislators on Tuesday recommended that Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa introduce sin taxes on unhealthy sugary foods and an additional tax on swipe transactions in order to get additional funding for critical sectors such as health.

Bulawayo South MP, Eddie Cross , while presenting a report on the 2018 national budget by the Finance Portfolio Committee, suggested an additional five cents tax on electronic transactions, something that is likely to draw the ire of Zimbabweans, who have seen a surge in prices in recent days.

"I suggest putting a small tax on electronic transactions because I consulted the Bankers' Association of Zimbabwe and tax experts and they estimated $19 billion as gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, and that swipe transactions in 2017 were $75 billion, while RTGS [real time gross settlement] transaction were $50 billion," Cross said.

"Through economic activities, we are looking at electronic transactions of $180 billion per week, and to me it reflects that our economy is actually of a bigger size than the figure reflected by the minister in excess of $40 billion, and I believe we can provide money for our health sector if we put a small tax of $0,05 on electronic transactions."

Cross said such a tax would raise about $9 billion in new revenue.

"I have spoken to the finance committee and they urged me to make sure that the matter is raised," he said.

"If you put five cents tax on electronic transactions it will be easy to collect the money because if you swipe, you pay five cents to the minister of Finance and it will solve our problems, reduce expenditure by 35%, and ensure we settle our bills to multinational agencies."

Binga North legislator, Prince Sibanda also presented a report on the 2018 health budget by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care, where it was recommended that sin taxes be introduced on sugary foods and drinks.

"We propose that a sin tax be introduced on sugary foodstuffs and drinks to fund treatment of non-communicable diseases," he said.

"We believe that sugar is a serious contributor towards non-communicable diseases and to adequately fund the health sector we believe that a levy must be introduced on all sugary foods."

Sin taxes are often imposed on beer and tobacco in order for governments to raise revenue to fund health services.

The health committee also demanded that Chinamasa increase the Health budget by an additional $345 million on top of the $408 million that it was allocated in 2018.

The committee said MPs agreed during the 2018 pre- and post-budget seminars that the 2018 budget will not be passed unless the Health budget meets the 15% requirements as per the Abuja declaration.

"The health budget is currently 5,8% of the national budget and even if we consider the $30 million from the health levy, the budget will still not go beyond 6,2%," Sibanda said.

He said foreign currency must be readily available for drug purchases and other medical equipment, adding that the current job freeze can be implemented in other sectors, but not the health sector as it is very critical.

MPs demanded that Chinamasa increase Parliament's budget from $57 million to $98 million.

- newsday

Tags: Tax, MPs, Health,
 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

White Zanu-PF aspiring MP intensifies campaign

by staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 82 Views

MLF denounces Bulelani and his gang of Judas Iscariots and Liars

by Andrea Sibanda, MLF Secretary General | 24 February 2018 | 54 Views

ULoyiko to be showcased at Zabalaza theatre festival

by Thulani Nkala | 24 February 2018 | 47 Views

David Whitehead revival hopes high

by Staff Reporter | 24 February 2018 | 51 Views

Matabeleland South pupils fail to get secondary school places

by Staff Reporter | 24 February 2018 | 54 Views

Khupe rejects Chamisa

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 64 Views

ZEC wins BVR kits tender challenge

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 48 Views

Chamisa, Mudzuri kiss and make up

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 62 Views

Footballer drowns at lodge swimming pool in Bulawayo

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 57 Views

Madinda looks for spark in ZNA clash

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 50 Views

Mapeza safe!

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 40 Views

Amnesty International to engage Mnangagwa

by Staff reporterq | 24 February 2018 | 47 Views

Woman kills hubby

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 34 Views

Two die in road accident

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 45 Views

Perrance Shiri taken to court

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 52 Views

Bulawayo tops social media usage

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 45 Views

Khupe in the cold

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 69 Views

'My hubby is a gold digger'

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 48 Views

Mugabe demands his pension from Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 60 Views

Mnangagwa is a mafia obsessed with power

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 45 Views

Zanu PF youths shocked Mugabe was ousted

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 35 Views

A tale of three vice presidents

by Tondorindo Chinehasha | 23 February 2018 | 277 Views

Nust Graduate wins beauty pageant

by Jefferson Metha | 23 February 2018 | 149 Views

It's time for rural cemeteries

by Thomas Murisa | 23 February 2018 | 190 Views

Mugabe warned: Shut up!

by Stephen Jakes | 23 February 2018 | 881 Views

2017 O-Level pass rate down to 26.35%

by Ndou Paul | 23 February 2018 | 297 Views

The mystery of the missing MDC-T constitution

by Joe Devanny | 23 February 2018 | 190 Views

Khupe snubs Chamisa overture

by Staff reporter | 23 February 2018 | 369 Views

Mutambara warn MDC-T members

by Staff reporter | 23 February 2018 | 622 Views

Jonathan Moyo taunts 'hopeless charlatan'

by Staff reporter | 23 February 2018 | 417 Views

Cheated wife cuts off man's sex organs

by Punch.com | 23 February 2018 | 199 Views

Cheating man in juju scare

by Staff reporter | 23 February 2018 | 248 Views

Headmaster, wife demand $145,000 from school

by Staff reporter | 23 February 2018 | 193 Views

Woman faces $10 000 adultery lawsuit

by Staff reporter | 23 February 2018 | 152 Views

Chamisa salutes Mnangagwa's govt

by Staff reporter | 23 February 2018 | 254 Views

Chamisa blasts the police force

by Simbarashe Sithole | 23 February 2018 | 990 Views

The social media president

by Charles Munganasa | 23 February 2018 | 141 Views

Four incredible gambling stories

by Agencies | 23 February 2018 | 113 Views