GOVERNMENT

Commission approves hike in beer tax

Temas:

The National Assembly's Commission of Economy and Finance passed today on first debate a proposed law to increase the tax on beer.

The proposal passed with five votes in favor and four abstentions.

The proposed law would amend the so-called anti-Varela law, which was passed during the last government. That law, which critics said were aimed at then-Vice President Juan Carlos Varela, raised the tax on liquor. Varela is a partner in a liquor company that produces rum and seco.

The changes would extend the tax to beer. It would increase the tax on a case of beer from $1.13 to $2.21.

According to Department of Revenue Director Publio Cortés, the measure would raise $38 million annually.

Members of the opposition CD party Yanibel Abrego, Absalón Herrera and Nelson Jackson, as well as Panameñista deputies Miguel Salas and Gabriel Soto, supported the law. PRD deputies María Delgado, Crispiano Adames, Iván Picota and Rosa Canto abstained.

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