The excise department of state taxes and excise has confirmed it will not introduce a salinity tax on high-sodium foods this year, in order to help alleviate the burden on Thai businesses.
According to the Department, the new tax will not be implemented this year soas to allow the Thai economy to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and the higher cost of living. The move comes after the government reduced the Diesel excise tax by 3 baht per liter this week, relieving pressure on the Oil Fund, which had been impacted by subsidizing energy prices driven up by global market situations.
Thanaphon Dokkaeo, president of Kidney Disease Friends’ Association of Thailand, said the current situation is concerning. Some 10 per cent of the population, more than seven million people, suffer from chronic renal failure, a possible result of high sodium intake. Other diseases linked to excessive salt intake include high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, which are also common in the kingdom.
The salinity tax was previously proposed as a means of encouraging people to live healthier lifestyles. Thais on average consume about 1.8 teaspoons of salt per day, which is about twice the daily amount recommended by the World Health Organization.