Smokers and drinkers will find little cheer in the 2019 budget, which asks "sinners" to chip in an extra R1bn to the national fiscus in the financial year ahead. Finance minister Tito Mboweni aims to raise R400m from additional excise duties on tobacco product sales, and another R600m from an array of alcoholic beverages. This year’s sin tax table breaks down as follows: the excise duty on a can of beer goes up by 12c to R1.74, while a bottle of wine will have an excise duty of R3.15 (a 22c increase). The duty on a bottle of sparkling wine goes up by 84c to R10.16, and the duty on a bottle of whisky will go up by R4.54 to R65.84. Smokers also cough up considerably more for their habit. The duty on a pack of 20 cigarettes goes up by R1.14 to R16.66, while the excise duty on a typical cigar will go up by about 64c to R7.80. Independent analyst Anthony Clark bemoaned the excise duty increase. "If consumers were not depressed enough with a struggling economy, rolling blackouts and a ris...

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