Senator Professor Henry Fraser, has proposed that the controversial tax on sweet drinks, should be increased.
Speaking in the Senate during the debate on an amendment to the Health Services Bill, which would ban e-cigarettes in public spaces, Senator Professor Fraser argued that the existing taxes aren’t large enough to lead to any noticeable change.
“The Director of PAHO in the region has come out recently and said, of course we know it should have been a 20 per cent increase, but now that we’ve made the 10 per cent increase and it hasn’t made much difference, to make a difference it has got to be 20 per cent on top of that 10 per cent … the sugary drink taxation should now be 20 per cent on top (of what it currently is).”
He also believes the tax increase should be extended to include cigarettes, e-cigarettes and even imported liquor be raised. “The same thing must apply to cigarette smoking, and it should certainly apply to all of those noxious, high cost spirits that are imported from Europe, Scotland and other places. All of the imported whisky that the middle class Barbadian feels that he is elevated his social status by drinking whisky at ten times the cost of the local, much superior, rum.”
The amendment was later passed.