Colombia’s Congress approves taxes for healthcare

BOGOTA, June 17 (BestGrowthStock) – Colombia’s Congress on Thursday
approved a bill to hike taxes on alcoholic drinks, cigarettes
and slot machines as part of a plan to raise $1.8 billion to
finance the ailing public healthcare system.

The Finance Ministry said the reform aimed to broaden
public healthcare coverage in a country where half of the 44
million population live in poverty and many have little access
to the health system.

The reforms will lift value-added tax on beer to 16 percent
from the start of next year from the current 14 percent and
apply the same tariff for slot machines and cover a more
specific tax on tobacco.

Colombia’s government in April rushed a bill into Congress
to plug a budget hole for healthcare after a court struck down
a decree by President Alvaro Uribe ordering a raise in the same
taxes aimed at financing the cash-strapped healthcare system.

Investment Advice

(Reporting by Javier Mozzo, editing by Bernard Orr)

Colombia’s Congress approves taxes for healthcare