Drinks tax does little for Dr Corinda Pepper…

St Helena’s councillors are sharing the pain when it comes to tax on alcohol.

“Everyone enjoys a good beer or a glass or wine and I declare my interest,” the Hon Brian Isaac told LegCo.

“Saints are known to enjoy socialising. If we put such commodities out of the range of Saints they will turn to other socialising activity which will impinge on the good of the island.”

New councillor Pamela Ward Pearce got an early lesson in making tough decisions.

“My husband has objected to me raising the price of beer,” she said, “but he understands that this is for the greater good.”

In fact, annual increases in tax on alcohol and tobacco have not led to a drop in consumption, said the Financial Secretary.

Excise duty has not gone up for fizzy drinks – a new tax that brought international attention when it was introduced last year.

That appears to have been some relief for the Hon Dr Corinda Essex.

“I am sure the drinkers and smokers may not be very happy with the increase in duties,” she said, “but I am personally very relieved the duty on Dr Pepper has remained the same, even if this does not in fact incentivise any improvement in my lifestyle.”

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