Budget 2017 brings bad news for South Africans who smoke and drink

By News24 Wire
22 February 2017

As if the current economic climate wasn't enough drive one to drink.

As if the current economic climate wasn't enough to drive one to drink. Finance minister Pravin Gordhan announced during his annual Budget Speech on Wednesday that as of tomorrow, you'll pay between six and pay ten percent more for alcohol and cigarettes.

As has become tradition, the so-called sin taxes - that is, the excise duty on tobacco and alcohol - have been hiked in the budget. Since 2002 these sin taxes have consistently been above the inflation rate and the Budget Review proposes that the increases remain at between 8% and 9.5%.

Smokers will pay R1.06 more for a packet of 20 cigarettes, pipe tobacco will cost 40 cents more for 25 grams and cigars R6.58 more for 23 grams.

As far as drinks are concerned, it seems Gordhan and the Treasury want to stress hard work ahead rather than celebrations because the price of sparkling wine carries the biggest hike, with an increase of 70c for a bottle of 750 ml.

Read more: Powerful before-and-after photos show what happens when you quit drinking

A 340 ml can of beer, or of cider and alcoholic fruit beverages, will cost 12c more, a bottle of fortified wine 26c more and a 750 ml bottle of spirits R4.43 more.

Together with the increase of 30 cents per litre in the fuel tax, the hike in excise duties on alcohol and tobacco will bring in an additional R5.1bn for state coffers in 2017/18.

For pensioners, there was at least a little good news: if you are over 60 your monthly government grant will increase by R90 to R1 600, and those who are over 75, will now get R1 620.

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