Beat it

Beat it

Slovenia puts foward draft bill on sugary drink tax



LJUBLJANA, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Slovenian government puts forward a draft bill on sugary drink tax on Monday.
The draft bill, introduced by the Finance Ministry, proposes to impose excise duties on non-alcoholic beverages with more than 10 grams of sugar per litre.
Water and mineral water without added sugar or sweeteners, fruit and vegetable juices and nectars, non-alcoholic beers, non-alcoholic beverages sweetened with steviol glycoside and baby food are exempted from the new tax.
If the bill is adopted, consumers will have to pay 5 and 10 Euro cents per litre of sugary drinks depending on the sugar content.
Currently, a value-added tax rate of 9.5 percent is paid for non-alcoholic beverages in shops and 22 percent in bars.
The taxation of sugary drinks, which is expected to bring the government a budget of 4.7 million euros (5.8 million U.S. dollars) annually, is said to be instrumental in serving health purposes, especially in containing growing number of diabetes patients.
Slovenia, with a population of 2.05 million, has some 11,000 people diagnosed annually with diabetes, a serious chronic disease that may threaten heart, kidney, eyes and feet.
The direct and indirect costs of treating diabetes exceed 120 million euros per year, or over five percent of the national health insurance budget, according to data presented at a conference on diabetes in November.