Tax Coming for Sugar Sweetened Beverages

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Wednesday 10th October, 2018-Alarmed by the high rate of Antiguans and Barbudans stricken with non-communicable diseases, government is discussing taxing certain products, with the expectation that it will help stem what is fast becoming a major problem.

Non-communicable diseases according to the World Health Organization (WHO) are mainly cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, speaking on the Browne and Browne show last weekend, said government is adopting a proactive approach to the developmental challenges being experienced, and one way in which that will be done is by targeting  sugar sweetened beverages.

The prime minister noted that in addition to the proposed tax, government will incentivise the use of nutritional foods.

The World Health Organization says NCDs kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally.

For Antigua and Barbuda, Prime Minister Browne revealed that diabetes is one of the main non-communicable diseases plaguing nationals.