Price of sugary drinks to stay unchanged until March 31
The tax hike on sugary drinks has been pushed back by another six months to help ease the burden on consumers and give manufacturers more time to adjust their recipes.
Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said on Tuesday that the Cabinet agreed to put the third phase off until March 31, 2023.
Thailand began slapping high taxes on beverages containing more than 6 grams of sugar for every 100 millilitres in 2017. The plan was to raise the tax slowly in two-year phases to gradually wean people off sugar as well as give manufacturers time to adjust their recipes.
The first phase kicked off on September 16, 2017, and lasted until September 30, 2019. The second phase began on October 1, 2019, and wrapped up on September 30, 2021. The third phase was scheduled to kick off on October 1, 2021, and wrap up on September 30, 2023, but was pushed back by a year to ease the cost of living and give manufacturers time to adjust. The third phase would have started on October 1, if it had not been delayed again.
The third phase would have seen the tax for beverages containing 6-8g of sugar per 100ml rise by 0.3 baht per litre, 8-10g of sugar by 1 baht per litre, 10-14g by 3 baht per litre, and over 14g by 5 baht per litre.
The tax hike on sweetened drinks was proposed by the Public Health Ministry and Excise Department based on the World Health Organisation’s advice that reducing the consumption of unhealthy food would significantly reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases.