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Chocolate lovers to pay more in Uhuru’s sweet tooth tax proposal

If chocolates are your guilty pleasures, brace yourself for higher prices as President Uhuru Kenyatta seeks for funds to fill his huge budget hole.

The president has proposed a Sh20 excise duty for every kilogramme of confectionery sugar .

The sweet tooth tax is one of the proposals contained in his memo to parliament as part of raising revenue.

Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich on Tuesday told Parliament’s Finance Committee that the government wants to fight obesity as it seeks to increases revenue.

“You’re complaining about this tax while the country is spending more on obesity. That was the rationale we used when we decided to control the problem through taxation while also increasing government’s revenue,” said Rotich.

AFFECTED PRODUCTS

Also affected by the confectionery excise duty are sweets, candied nuts, chewing gums and bubble gums.

In June, confectionery and chocolate product manufacturing companies moved to court to challenge the proposed financial regulations as well as the imposition of excise duty on their goods.

Five local companies sued the National Treasury, the National Assembly and the Attorney-General saying that the new tax rule was riddled with inefficiencies that need to be sorted over time.

The companies claimed that the Treasury Cabinet Secretary had already proposed the date when the new tax rule should take effect without any public participation carried out.

The companies are Candy Kenya limited, Kenafric Industries Limited, Kenya Sweets Ltd, Patco Industries Ltd and Mzuri Sweets ltd.