Russia to introduce sausage tax

The Russian government’s tax fever shows no signs of subsiding. In the wake of a VAT hike, an increase in excise duties on petrol and a tax on carbonated drinks, the Cabinet of Ministers is preparing to impose an excise duty on sausages and frankfurters, reports.

The additional tax may amount to more than 160 rubles per kilogram of sausage, frankfurters or bacon. The Ministry of Health supported the initiative, saying that it will facilitate a healthy lifestyle for Russians, according to the newspaper Izvestia.

The new tax will cause a spike in prices: whereas one kilogram of most common brand of sausage in Russia, the Doctor sausage, costs on average 600 rubles now, after the tax it will cost at least 760 rubles, a 26% increase.

The Government Expert Council proposed to introduce a new system of duties and subsidies for food producers, according to a statement on the program “Strengthening public health”, part of the national “Demography” project. In mid-October, after being signed by council member Daria Khaltourina, the document was sent to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

The authors of the initiative believe that Russia should put a new excise duty on processed meat products (sausages, frankfurters, bacon), and use the proceeds to make healthy food products cheaper. It is hoped that this will help to make the nation healthier and improve longevity among Russians.

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) added processed red meat (sausage products, bacon, frankfurters, hams from beef, mutton and pork) to its list of carcinogens. Such products increase the risk of malignant tumors, explains Tatyana Zubkova, a leading specialist from the Federal Research Institute of Health Organization and Informatics.

Zubkova notes that, in addition to the mentioned correlation between processed meat products and cancer, their consumption also increases the risk of coronary artery disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes.

The Russian Health Ministry confirmed that the tax will be implemented, but noted that the specifics are still being discussed. Earlier, the Government Expert Council also proposed a tax on sweetened carbonated drinks of at least 20% of their retail price.

  Russia, the Ministry of health, Russian Government