TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The Legislative Yuan Finance Committee and Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee on Monday passed the first review of a proposed amendment to the tobacco and alcohol tax law to raise cigarette tax by NT$20 per pack.
The amendment, if passed, will raise the cigarette tax from NT$590 per 1,000 cigarettes (per kilogram) to NT$1590, which will see a NT$20 increase in cigarette price per pack from NT$11.8 to NT$30.8.
The tax hikes would generate an estimated NT$23.3 billion increase in revenue for the nation, according to the Ministry of Finance.
The proposed amendments came amid the government’s efforts to raise new revenue sources for its long-term care program, an important platform for President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration, which aims to create a high-quality, affordable and extensive long-term care system.
Finance Minister Sheu Yu-Jer said today that raising taxes on cigarettes is an effective policy tool to reduce the health and economic burden of tobacco use. The increased tax will provide additional revenue of about NT$23.3 billion per year to maintain funding for the long-term care program, he said.