Thailand to sweeten the deal with another sugary tax hike

No child dignity was harmed by this AI-generated image. Image: Midjourney
No child dignity was harmed by this AI-generated image. Image: Midjourney

Six years after increasingly obese Thailand announced it would tax sugary drinks, the next proposed rate hike is now looming.

After a 1.5 year delay, the next increase on drinks containing over 6 grams of sugar by volume will come into effect April 1.

Alarmed by the rapid expansion of Thai waistlines in 2017 – excessive salt and sugar and sedentary lifestyles were blamed for obesity in nearly a third of adults and one in 10 children – the junta government adopted a gradual tax regimen that would give manufacturers time to reformulate their drinks.

The tax increases the more sugar is packed into the bottle or can. In April, it will increase by THB2 per liter for drinks with 10 grams to 14 grams of sugar per 100 milliliters. Drinks with over 18 grams of sugar have already reached the maximum of THB5 per liter. Drinks of 8 grams to 10 grams will remain the same at THB0.3, and drinks between 6 grams and 8 grams will rise THB0.2 to THB0.3.

The third phase increase was originally set for October 2021 but was later suspended due to the pandemic.


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