There are numerous practices which are performed openly and legally, which are at the same time, known to harm either the individuals involved in using them or the environment in general. Some examples of these activities include smoking, drinking alcohol, and also the consumption of extremely unhealthy foods and drinks.
These practices are not illegal, and while there are potentially somewhat adverse effects associated with them, individuals continue to spend money on them.
This is where the concept of a sin tax arises. Similar ideas have already risen, and countries such as the UAE have already implemented certain fees. The UAE began around October of 2018 by imposing a 50% tax on sodas and energy drinks. Oman now looks set to put in place a similar tax with a potentially broader range of goods and activities covered.
The Omani Sin Tax
The sin tax in Oman would cover the sodas and energy drinks as mentioned previously, as well as tobacco and alcohol. There were plans to introduce the tax during 2018, though it has yet to come to fruition. However, the implementation is expected to occur soon.
The aim of introducing the tax is two-fold; on the one hand, it will, of course, give rise to additional earnings for the government which can then be used to pursue further aims within the nation. The other aspect here is to give rise to a healthier and safer future in Oman.
The goods that are to be taxed are not essentials to survive and instead, pose health risks to those who use them. Alcohol, in particular, opens up the potential to create many adverse outcomes resulting from the impairment that it causes. Numerous driving-related incidents per year are linked to drinking.
For the government, this is a win-win situation. Improving the overall health of the populous as well as gaining more tax money from those who do still purchase the select goods.
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