Government Approves Alcohol Tax Hike
The government today approved plans, agreed in budget talks this spring, whereby alcohol excise taxes will be raised by 5 percent per year for the next four years.
In a statement, the Finance Ministry said the long-term nature of the scheme would allow alcohol manufacturers to plan ahead.
At the time of their announcement in April, the proposed hikes drew sharp criticism from taxpayer representatives who said the changes would lead to increased levels of smuggling and consumption of black-market alcohol. Brewery owners, meanwhile, called the hikes damaging to the industry and a misguided effort to fill holes in the state budget.
The state is expected to collect an additional seven million euros in revenue from alcohol taxes in 2013, 22 million euros in 2014, 40 million euros in 2015 and 60 million euros in 2016.
The law will take effect on January 1, 2013.