29 Mar 2007

American Samoa importer says jobs will be lost if excise tax increased

9:01 am on 29 March 2007

An American Samoa importer has told the government of the negative impacts if it increases the excise on beer it brings in from neighbouring Samoa.

GHC Reid says a bill suggesting an increase in the excise tax on Vailima beer from 190 percent to 500 percent would be unfair and would put the company at a huge disadvantage.

The company president, Olivia Reid Gillet, has told a senate hearing the cost of a case of Vailima would jump from 27 US dollars to 50.

She says if the spirit of the bill is to generate additional revenues for the territory, this would not be realised because Vailima could not be sold at the higher prices and therefore cost the government two million dollars in excise.

And Ms Reid Gillet says the company would also be forced to lay off nearly half its work force of 60 if the tax change went ahead.