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House: Sin tax legislation tabled

House of Assembly (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Legislation to increase the cost to import alcohol and tobacco has been tabled in the House of Assembly.

The Customs Tariff Amendment (No 2) Act increases the cost of duty for a variety of alcohol and tobacco products.

The cost to import beers, ciders or similar fermented beverages will rise from $1.26 per litre to $1.36, while the cost to import wines will rise from $5 to $6 per litre.

The cost of loose tobacco is also set to rise with duty increasing from $300 per kilogram to $500 per kilogram.

Duty for liquors such as rum, whisky and gin will increase under the legislation, which is intended to help the Government raise revenue.

The amendments also widen the scope of items that can be brought to Bermuda by registered schools without duty costs.

The Bill similarly allows additional items to be brought to the island for the purposes of pollution control without duty.

Other legislation tabled yesterday included the Liquor Licence Amendment Act, which creates several new types of liquor licences including a catering permit, an itinerant restaurant licence and a special occasion licence.

The Act would also increase penalties for those in breach of the Act by about 60 per cent.

The Dental Practitioners Amendment Bill will require dentists to have indemnity insurance in order to register as a dental practitioner.

The Bill will also give the Bermuda Dental Board express power to impose on dental practitioners additional registration requirements in respect of specified procedures when it believes it is necessary to protect the health of patients.

Government also tabled the Government Loans (Suspension of Annual Contribution to Sinking Fund) Order, which would formally suspend Government’s contribution to the fund for 12 months.

Curtis Dickinson, the Minister of Finance, had announced the Government’s intention not to contribute to the fund this year when he delivered the 2019-20 Budget.