Smotrich shelves sweetened drink tax, in nod to Haredi partners

Making good on a commitment to ultra-Orthodox political allies, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich publishes a new order canceling a tax on sweetened drinks passed by the last government, according to Hebrew media.

The tax, which went into effect in January 2022, had been widely pilloried by the Haredi community, with many complaining that it impacted their ability to feed large families on a small budget. Consumers were forced to pay up to an extra NIS 1.07 ($0.32) per liter for drinks with high sugar content. Beverages with lower sugar content are taxed at a lower rate.

Smotrich had promised to cancel the levy as well as one on single-use plastic disposable plates and cutlery, which is also heavily used by the ultra-Orthodox.

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