Govt mulls hiking tax on sugary drinks to fix country’s sweet tooth

The government is planning to force us to pay more if we want to consume unhealthy, sugary drinks for our own pleasure.

The National Reform Steering Assembly on Tuesday proposed a tax increase on sweet drinks, namely soft drinks, coffee, green tea, energy drinks, fermented milk, soy milk and juice.

The tax hike will increase the retail price of these drinks by 20 – 25 percent, depending on the amount of sugar.

For beverages containing 6-10 grams of sugar per 100 millimeters, the council members proposed a tax that will increase the retail price by 20 percent. And for beverages with more than 10 grams of sugar, the retail price should be increased by 25 percent.  

The proposal was backed with 153 votes to two, with six abstentions. It will be sent to the cabinet for approval.

The move aims to decrease citizens’ consumption of sweet drinks which put them at risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. These health issues cost the state a lot of money in hospital treatments.

The country is expected to earn THB10 billion in revenues from the new tax scheme.

Meanwhile, Dr. Pornpan Boonyarattanapan, on the assembly’s committee on health and environmental reform, said Thailand is the ninth highest ranked country in the world for sugar consumption.

An average Thai consumes about 26 spoons of sugar (120 milimetrs) per day, Daily News reported.



Average Thai consumes 26 teaspoons of sugar per day: officials

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