The Riigikogu on Tuesday passed a bill to amend the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act according to which the excise hike to enter into force in February will be reduced by half.
The bill was passed with 50 to 32 votes. The Riigikogu has 101 members.
According to the bill, the hike in the excise duty on beer, other alcohol, wine and fermented beverages with an ethanol content of up to 6 percent by volume planned for 2018 will be halved. Alcohol excise duty hikes for 2019 and 2020 will remain the same as planned, which is 10 percent, and 20 percent for wine and fermented beverages with an alcohol content of up to 6 percent by volume.
The government on the initiative of Finance Minister Toomas Tõniste (IRL) decided to raise the alcohol excise duty planned to enter into force on Feb. 1 by half of the volume initially planned. In order to cover the budget gap that will result, the government is planning to take €9 million of additional income from the state forest management center RMK this year.
The necessary amendments to the Nature Conservation Act and the Forest Act were passed by the Riigikogu on Tuesday as well with 71 to 16 votes.
Editor: Dario Cavegn