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Sugar tax to support the NFZ budget

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The so-called sugar tax is to come into force from April 2020. The funds obtained in this way will mainly go to the National Health Fund (NFZ). In 2020, in accordance with the assumptions, it is to be PLN 2.1bn.

Reduce the obesity epidemic

According to the bill on amending certain acts in connection with the promotion of pro-healthy consumer choices, an additional tax will be imposed on alcoholic beverages up to 300 ml (the so-called monkeys) and on beverages with sweetening or active substances added. In the case of alcoholic beverages, the fee will amount to PLN 1 per each unit pack. As far as sweet drinks are concerned, it will be PLN 0,2, 0,7 or 0,8, depending on the sweetener/active substances added.

The main objective of the introduction of the levy is to promote healthier dietary choices and to improve the quality of the diet by limiting the foods not recommended for excessive consumption. Experience in other EU countries has shown that such measures reduce consumption and thus contribute to reducing overweight and obesity in society. Additional taxes on sweetened drinks or fast food have been introduced by Denmark, Hungary, Portugal, France and the UK, among others.

The NFZ will receive PLN 2.1-2.8bn

The lion’s share of revenue from the additional tax will go to the National Health Fund (NFZ). According to the provisions of the bill, in the case of the tax on alcoholic beverages, it will be 50% of the collected funds (the remaining part will constitute the income of municipalities). As for the additional fees on sweetened beverages, 98% of the collected fees will be transferred to the National Health Fund. Additionally, the account of the Fund will be credited with fees for advertising dietary supplements, which are also to be introduced. This will be 10% of the tax base for the tax on goods and services resulting from this service.

In 2020, the NFZ budget for the additional tax will be credited with the amount of PLN 2.1bn (the total revenue is estimated at PLN 2.3bn). What is important, however, according to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, it will be a kind of bonus for the NFZ, apart from the budget revenue. These funds will be particularly desirable in the context of the economic slowdown, which will result in lower revenues from health care contributions. In the following years, this amount will amount to PLN 2.8bn per year, while the funds from the sugar tax will relieve the state budget, which will allocate this amount less to the NFZ. This means that the introduction of the new tax may no longer be felt by patients.

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