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Don’t relent in getting Excise Duty Amendment Bill signed – A4H Coalition urges Akufo-Addo

Don’t relent in getting Excise Duty Amendment Bill signed – A4H Coalition urges Akufo-Addo

The Advocating for Health (A4H) Coalition, which comprises academia (led by the University of Ghana, School of Public Health), civil society organizations including the Ghana NCD Alliance, the Ghana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Ghana Public Health Association is urging President Akufo-Addo to assent to the Excise Duty Amendment Bill.


According to the Coalition, the food and beverage industry is playing a significant role in the obesity and non-communicable disease epidemic, especially with the widespread availability, accessibility, and affordability of harmful commodities such as sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs).

Currently in Ghana, the food and beverage industry is strongly against the implementation of the SSB tax after the passage of the Excise Duty Amendment Bill.

At a press conference in Accra on April 6, Mr. Labram Musah, the National Coordinator for Ghana NCD Alliance, who addressed the press on behalf of the A4H coalition, said that the over 85 countries that have implemented some taxes on SSBs were met with strong oppositional arguments in the process of enacting an SSB tax.

Highlighting some of these industry arguments, he stated that it is often argued that “taxes will not yield the expected revenue or increases to existing taxes may reduce revenue yields.” He did, however, include that the impact on revenues of taxes to promote healthy diets largely depends on how the tax is designed and administered. He further stated that “country experiences indicate that these taxes can generate additional revenue, which can then be used to finance health or social initiatives”.

Another industry argument is that “taxes on less healthy foods and beverages will increase prices and reduce sales, affecting employment.”

According to Mr. Labram, available evidence shows that “because taxes encourage consumers to substitute taxed foods and beverages for healthier foods and beverages, demand for healthier options may increase, providing opportunities for the food industry to offer such options and for jobs to be derived from the increased demand for these products.”

“Consumers may also spend money they would have spent on taxed foods and beverages on other goods and services, increasing employment opportunities in other industries,” he added.

The coalition sees the tax as an effective intervention to reduce the consumption of SSBs as recommended by WHO and looks forward to the President signing the Excise Duty Amendment Bill.

Source: A4H Coalition

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