National Stakeholder Meeting on Health Taxes and Implementation of Excise Duty Amendment Act, 2023

National Stakeholder Meeting on Health Taxes and Implementation of Excise Duty Amendment Act, 2023

National Stakeholder Meeting on Health Taxes and Implementation of Excise Duty Amendment Act, 2023

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It is universally known that the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, and unhealthy diets are among the major causes of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs have reached global and national epidemic level skilling over 41 million people annually (Tindana et al., 2020); 94,000 of these deaths occur in Ghana. Today, we see increased consumption of ultra-processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages resulting from urbanization and the influx of Western-style fast food companies strategically positioned on every street in Accra. An estimated 804,900 Ghanaians aged 15 years and above are active smokers creating an annual economic burden of GHC97 million (VALD, 2022). In 2016, alcohol use disorders in Ghana was estimated at 4.1% (Boachie et al., 2022), above the World Health Organization (WHO) Africa region average of 3.7%. Excessive intake of these health-harming commodities is driven by widespread acceptability, availability, affordability, and promotion (Afshin, 2017).
Designated as one of the WHO Best Buys, health taxes are one of the effective NCD prevention policy interventions. The Best Buys are a set of cost-effective interventions for combating NCDs in low- and middle-income countries. A study done by local researchers show that stakeholders across multiple government agencies have endorsed these Best Buys for controlling exposure to health-harming commodities such as alcohol, tobacco, and sugar-sweetened beverages (Laar et al., 2020). Currently, many countries in the world have adopted health taxes to protect their citizens from the dreadful impact of NCDs-SSB taxes alone have already been implemented in over eighty countries and jurisdictions globally; the implementation has proven to be an effective public health policy measure.
On the other hand, the tobacco, alcohol, and food and beverage industries have not relented on whitewashing individuals and communities with false claims that health taxes are associated with economic derails, job losses, and wage decreases. All of these claims have been thwarted by a wealth of evidence from countries that have implemented health taxes. In Berkeley (California, US), employment in the food sector increased by 7% between July 2014 and June 2016, following the fifteen (15) months of implementation of a $0.01 per ounce SSB tax (Hattersley et al. 2020). Another evaluation of Philadelphia found that the SSB tax provides a clear net benefit to Philadelphia’s economy after two (2) years of implementation (Lahr 2021).
It is against this backdrop that the Vision for Alternative Development (VALD Ghana) is collaborating with the Advocating for Health Coalition (University of Ghana School of Public Health, Ghana NCD Alliance, Ghana Public Health Association, and Ghana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) to hold national stakeholders meeting on health taxes. The meeting would have in attendance key stakeholders from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Health Service, Food and Drugs Authority, World Health Organization, Ghana Standards Authority, civil society organizations, academia, and representatives from major media outlets.

Meeting Objectives
To afford Ghanaians through the media a better understanding of health taxes in general and their benefits to health and the economy.

To elaborate on the GRA’s plan for the implementation of the excise duty amendment act 2023

To discuss and identify needs and opportunities available for stakeholders to support GRA in the implementation of the excise duty amendment act 2023

To instigate a well-coordinated multi-stakeholder action towards the successful implementation of the excise duty amendment Act for better impact

To initiate conversation around the feasibility of earmarking revenue generated from health taxes for health financing

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Date And Time

2023-06-15 @ 08:30 AM to
2023-06-15 @ 03:00 PM


Online Event

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