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Majority of UAE residents support new sugar tax

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on November 26, 2019
tax, VAT, UAE, UAE news, Gulf, UAE residents

(Photo: Alamy)

More than 77% agree with the idea of a complete ban on the sale of high sugar drinks.

Around 55 per cent of UAE residents support implementation of new sugar tax while just 20 per cent oppose it, YouGov's latest research revealed.

The survey showed that 66 per cent of high income earners who earn Dh40,000-plus per month support the tax whereas support amongst those earning Dh5,000 or less per month is considerably lower at 48 per cent. 

Support for the new sin tax amongst young adults between 18 and 24 years was lower at 47 per cent compared to 56 per cent amongst older age groups. Amongst the genders, a higher number of men than women favour its implementation (57 per cent vs 50 per cent).

Although the majority of surveyed respondents (61 per cent) were aware of this initiative by the government, two in five (39 per cent) did not know about it.

Of those who support the tax, more than three-quarters (77 per cent) also agree with the idea of a complete ban on the sale of high sugar drinks in the country. People aged 40 and above tend to favour a ban more than young adults between the ages of 18-24 years (84 per cent vs 64 per cent).

While a majority say the increased prices will change their behaviour by either reducing (41 per cent) or stopping (13 per cent) their consumption of sugary drinks, close to half (46 per cent) say their intake will remain unaffected.

The new tax aims at reducing the consumption of specific goods typically harmful to either human health or the environment. Around two-thirds believe it will help to reduce the intake of unhealthy foods and beverages (67 per cent), check sugar addiction (66 per cent) and prevent chronic diseases linked to sugar (65 per cent). To that end, more than seven in ten (73 per cent) feel greater transparency about a product's contents will further help consumers make healthy choices.

Apart from the sugar tax, more than half of UAE residents feel additional initiatives by the Government to encourage walking (59 per cent) and systemizing nutrition standards for children's food in schools (55 per cent) will benefit public health. Many also think health initiatives such as marathons (49 per cent) and community weight loss challenges (48 per cent) are also likely to help people.

Data was collected online by YouGov Omnibus among 1,002 respondents in the UAE between October 23 and 30, 2019.

-waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com

 


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