Saturday, March 29, 2008

Shifting tax from rice to alchohol, cigarettes

Under the new budget taxes on beer and cigarettes will be raised by 20%, while taxes on rice imports will be slashed to nil.

The negative social externalities associated with beer and cigarettes have been cited for this change, but with soaring world food prices, it is not clear if the tax cut will fully counter record rice prices.

With rice already costing US$1 per kilo in Honiara and higher elsewhere, one NGO has already called for a return to traditional foodcrops as a means to combat this rise.

Whether locally grown or imported, the big question is: how can SI feed itself?