Samoa Govt to raise excise on imported fatty meat

Apia, SAMOA — Samoa's soaring numbers with kidney failure, hypertension and diabetes has led to proposed new levies on imported chicken leg quarters, turkey tails and mutton flaps.

The proposal by the Ministry of Revenue is currently being debated in Parliament with most MPs supporting the move.

But opposition MP, Olo Fiti Vaai, would like the government to reconsider because he says imported chicken leg quarters are one of the cheapest imported meats low income families can buy.

A government female MP, Faaulusau Rosa Stowers, supported that call but suggested lowering the cost of top quality meat imports.

She said only white collar workers and wealthy people can buy those meats, but the government could make it affordable for average and low income people for the sake of their health.

The Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, said the government spends millions every year on overseas medical treatment because of the high number of people diagnosed with non-communicable diseases.

Tuila'epa has accused New Zealand and the United States of exporting 'rubbish' meat to Samoa.

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