No alcohol excise increases

Alan Heath
20-11-2001, 00:00

For the past few weeks the government has been repeating that the budget deficit needs to be filled with higher taxation if necessary. However it would seem that alcohol is to escape a further round of excise increases. The beer industry is likely to be using its own produce to celebrate. Earlier the brewing industry had been expecting an increase of 4.5 to five percent this year. The beer makers are therefore expecting higher consumption which in turn is good news for the treasury which will be able to collect more money.

The Polmos companies which manufacture vodka and other spirits will also be happy. Smuggling of spirits is believed to be worth around USD500m per year although there are estimates that put it as high as USD1.1bn. The spirits producers believe that excise duty on their products should be reduced as Poland gets closer to the EU as seven countries already have lower rates. The Scandinavian countries are good example of what happens when duty is too high. There the market is being swamped by smuggled spirits from the former Soviet Union.

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