The COVID-19 pandemic came with a lot of uncertainties and has had a significant impact on not only the health sector but also on the economy especially in low and middle income countries. However, it also presented an opportunity for governments to be innovative in terms of tax collections and prioritising budget allocations to increase fiscal space for public health and promote universal health coverage in the face of the pandemic. As explained by the Southern African Research Foundation for Economic Development regional coordinator George Choongwa, health taxes could contribute to the government’s initiative to increase the tax collections for the purpose of scaling up essential services via public health. Therefore, through government’s innovative means of collecting tax, as well as prioritising budget allocations would increase public funding towards the novel COVID-19, while also contributing to better health by reducing unhealthy behaviours.
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