Despite pressure from different sectors, the national government decided to remove the tax from the tax reform
Representative of the Green Party, Carolina Giraldo. Photo: Twitter @CaroGiraBo
Since the tax reform project was presented on August 8, different sectors, including those health unions, youth and others, created an initiative, which was supported by the Green Party, that vapers and cigarettes have a additional tax, it is important to mention that in terms of vapers so far there is no regulation of consumption. But, despite the fact that it seemed that it could bring benefits in the collection, finally this was not approved.
“We want the tax on vapers to be included in the tax reform and the tobacco tax rate to be tripled. We don't know why they excluded that proposal that was very convenient for the health of Colombians,” said Blanca Llorente, Research Director of the Anaas Foundation, an organization that has led the discussion on the subject, at the time, as she entered. El Espectador.
In this sense, the congresswoman from the Green Party, Carolina Giraldo, spoke about the subject, with W Radio; and she assured that the government's decision is not understood, but they believe that it was due to pressure that they finally removed from the document the possibility of putting a tax on these products.
“What happened to us in the tax reform was very frustrating because we had made a great effort and there was a great consensus to increase the tax on tobacco companies at a time when we were debating whether bread is healthy,” he pointed out.
And he added that they suppose it was the product of pressure from the tobacco industry because they sought out members of the Green Party, but they maintained their position on the issue: “The truth is that one is left with a bittersweet feeling at the end. We know that there was pressure from the tobacco companies, they left us messages, we know that they looked for other people, they began to move. All night, prior to the reform debate, they moved a lot.”
On the other hand, he insisted on how surprising it was to realize that this initiative had been scuttled because it was something that benefited the objective of being able to increase public investment, but he confirmed that as a party they will insist on this tax in Congress, since It is only for economic reasons but for the consequences that these products bring to the health of Colombians, as the health unions themselves have ratified.
“I am the first surprised because we were making proposals that were useful to the Government. This tax was a national income, then it has a destination for the departments. It is already the past, we are already focusing on what is to come, which is to turn it into a bill. It is something that really suits the country,” the congresswoman told the Colombian radio station.
And she added on the subject of vapers, that it is an opportunity for the industry, since it allows that they reinvent themselves with different flavors and packaging, but with the same main ingredient, nicotine, which can cause consumer addiction: “It is already proven that they do harm health and have substances that cause addiction. The tobacco companies are entering vapers with 'little flavors' and 'little colors' to make them more attractive to young people.”
Finally, he criticized the space of the W and noted that since his party There is annoyance because they do not feel heard by the Government: “The first thing is that, without a doubt, it is one of the parties that brought President Petro to power. Other traditional parties come to the Government and accept many of their red lines, not only with the tax reform, but with many other issues.”