Govt To Introduce Amendments To Sugar Tax

February 24, 2020 | 12 Comments

Noting that sometimes the Sugar Tax has led to some items containing relatively small amounts of sugar being taxed — like Sugar Free Coffee Mate — the Finance Minister announced that Government will introduce amendments to “allow greater discretion for customs officers to waive Sugar Tax duties for items containing relatively small amounts of sugar.”

This was from Minister of Finance Curtis Dickinson as he delivered the 2020 Budget, with the relevant portion of the Budget speech saying, “Poor health choices in Bermuda, among other things, contribute to our collective high healthcare costs. One of the measures put in place by the Government to encourage healthier choices was the Sugar Tax.

“In October 2019, following six months of the full implementation of the Sugar Tax, the Cabinet authorised a review of the policy to ensure that it was having its intended effect. Consumption of items affected by the Sugar Tax in Bermuda has decreased. People, where they can, are making healthier choices as the costs of items with sugar have increased.

“However, Mr. Speaker, the broad application of the Sugar Tax through the customs tariff has led to some items containing ‘relatively small’ amounts of sugar being taxed. For example, items like Sugar Free Coffee Mate have been caught by the tax when they were not the intended target.

“During this session, we will introduce amendments to the Sugar Tax to allow greater discretion for customs officers to waive Sugar Tax duties for items containing ‘relatively small’ amounts of sugar. During this fiscal year up to 31 December 2019, the Sugar Tax has raised an additional $4.7 million in revenue.

“Although monies were earmarked for programmes to assist with healthy choices, the needs and demands for additional funding in the areas of mental health, public education, and additional support services for young Bermudians who have aged out of DCFS are considered higher priorities for the Government.

“Notwithstanding the foregoing, additional funding, from Sugar Tax receipts, have been allocated to the Ministry of Health to work with local restaurants on an initiative to add nutritional information to menus.”

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Comments (12)

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  1. Donderered says:

    Wow – so government screwed up and screwed us@

  2. while the economy spirals out of control says:

    we are tinkering with a sugar tax, changing public holiday names and promising a revision to an archaic ownership law that will not work as proposed.

    Is anyone else thinking that this lot has lost the plot???

    Jah love abounds…

  3. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Noting that sometimes the Sugar Tax has led to some items containing relatively small amounts of sugar being taxed — like Sugar Free Coffee Mate …”

    Too bad no one cautioned about such things when the Sugar Tax was introduced!

  4. James says:

    Perhaps charging a tax based on the actual sugar content would be good … like 1 cent per gram? I have bottle of Iced Tea beside me … says it contains 2.5 servings with 24 grams of sugar per serving … so the tax would be 60 cents.
    Unfortunately this would mean that on a ten pound bag of white sugar, the tax would be $45.36 … but at least it would be more realistically a tax on sugar.

  5. Guy Carri says:

    “Notwithstanding the foregoing, additional funding, from Sugar Tax receipts, have been allocated to the Ministry of Health to work with local restaurants on an initiative to add nutritional information to menus.”

    Jokes bie. Stop ya noise. Like the grocery app that the grocers ain’t yet heard of.

    All that happened is the PLP new tax was spread over all goods. Instead of making the sugary item way higher priced, it’s now a little higher plus some other stuff made a little higher in order to make up the cost. Garbage plan producing garbage results….other than gov making millions more from the people already struggling.

  6. Paulo says:

    I read somewhere that some fruits and vegetables now have 0% Tax. If so, it’s not being passed on to the consumer.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Probably nullified by the increase in the FCPT

      • Coach says:

        Plus added labor cost..
        Look at how many Ex Pats work as managers and work out what the extra 5% pension payment does to the cost of doing business..

        The tax on those fruits and vegetables was 5% so now 0 = 5 cents on the dollar.. Not allot..

    • truthertz says:

      Not true.

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    This lot can’t do anything right. How often do laws & regulations rushed through with little thought have to return to the HOA for amendments for basic oversights. By all means tax candy & non diet soda but sugar is a staple food.

    This from the crowd who wants to take over health insurance & talks about independence.

  8. PANGAEA says:

    I tell kids to eat a bar of chocolate just before they take an exam because chocolate sharpens the memory.

  9. Question says:

    I wish they would stick to renaming streets and putting up statues.

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