The European Parliament has backed a compromise deal over excise duty rate.

The parliament agreed yesterday (27 June) with the deal, made between EU member states and EU taxation Commissioner Lázló Kovács, which will lead to a lift in minimum excise duty rates for alcohol across the European Union (EU) of 4.5%.

The committee had proposed scrapping compulsory minimum rates altogether, while the European Commission had pressed for an increase reflecting inflation since these excise floors were set in 1992.

The 4.5% is way below an inflation-linked rise, but is the only hike Kovács thought he could steer through the EU Council of Ministers, where Germany and the Czech Republic have been resisting increases that would raise consumer prices for beer.

Commissioner Kovacs said: "The council could easily reach unanimous agreement on this proposal."