The Finnish Government will raise the tax rate on alcohol by less than its initial proposal

The Finnish Government will raise the tax rate on alcohol by less than its initial proposal

Finland’s drinks industry federation has criticised a Government plan to further increase the tax on alcohol in 2014.

Depsite, the Government’s decision to restrict the tax hike to half the amount stated in the 2014 budget plan, Panimoliitto has attacked the move. Next year's rise will see the tax on alcohol increase by EUR2.15 (US$2.90) per litre of 100% alcohol.

This amounts to a tax hike of 5% to 8.6%, depending on the category of alcoholic beverage.

Panimoliitto has lobbied strongly for a cut in alcohol taxes to reflect falling domestic sales and growing cross-border imports from Estonia. Finland’s beer tax is the highest in the EU, and over fives times higher than in Estonia.

At present, tax accounts for 60% to 80% of the per-litre retail price of beer in Finland.

Earlier this year, Heineken offloaded its Finnish brewing division, Hartwall, to Royal Unibrew. The move was a result of a review of the unit launched by Heineken in February.

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