7 Jul 2005

Tonga increasing alcohol tax to try and control abuse

8:14 pm on 7 July 2005

The Tongan government is proposing an amendment to its Customs Duty regulations in an attempt to curb under-age alcohol abuse.

The Finance Minister, Siosiua 'Utoikamanu, says under current legislation ready-to-drink mixes like rum and coke are not classified as spirits and don't attract customs duty.

He says they are cheap and available to youth so the amendment will increase the price.

Mr 'Utoikamanu says concentrated alcohol products will attract higher duty.

He says he hopes the amendments will encourage people to consume lower alcohol content drinks.