By Daniel Itai, Johannesburg, South Africa
The South Africa Tobacco Transformation Alliance, has become the latest lobby group to come out against the proposed tobacco tax increment.
Government has since realised that tobacco is having underlying toils on both smokers and non smokers which has relatively resulted in lung conditions such as bronchitis, tuberculosis and emphysema amongst others.
However, Zacharia Motsumi, spokesperson of the South Africa Tobacco Transformation Alliance, has since castigated the proposed move.
“We can not afford to have an increment in tobacco tax because this will cause stiff repercussions such as an increase in the price of tobacco.
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Now this will cause the illicit tobacco trade industry to thrive. We saw this during the hard lockdown so this won’t be beneficial.
Moreover, government will lose a lot of revenue if it allows the tax increment because people will obviously go to the illicit tobacco industry where the price of tobacco is cheaper.
Even now the illicit tobacco industry is still viable. Government has to clamp down on the illicit tobacco industry instead of increasing tax,” said Motsumi.