1 Jun 2006

Samoan government to increase taxes in the new financial year budget

6:53 am on 1 June 2006

Samoa's new Finance Minister has tabled in Parliament his first annual budget for 2006/2007 with an increase of 2.5 percent to the Valued added goods tax or Vagst.

This will make an increase of the present 12.5 percent tax to 15 percent.

The Finance Minister Niko Lee Hang says the new increase will be effective on October 1st.

In addition the Minister in his new financial year budget has also tabled a 10 percent increase on excise taxes for soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

The new increase will effect on July 1st.

The Minister says the government has not taken the decision lightly before making the new rates.

But he emphasized that Vagst does not apply to a range of basic items such as electricity, water rates, taxi and bus fares, medical and education fees, raw fish, fruits and vegetables.

He says the increase on excise taxes, is because the government is so concerned to improve people's health.

And he says it can also assist to achieve the outcomes of preventative measures by imposing additional excise on tobacco alcoholic beverages, and soft drinks.