Slovak industry braced for beer tax leap

Slovak industry braced for beer tax leap

Beer industry leaders in Slovakia have warned that jobs and breweries are at risk from the Government plan to increase excise tax on beer by 50%.

Tax would rise to EUR0.22 (US$0.29) per litre on 1 March 2011, from EUR0.149 per litre currently, under the Slovakian Government's proposal.

Representatives of the country’s Beer and Malt Makers Association (ZVPaS) have warned that this could erase hundreds of jobs. “When duty was raised last time, in 2003 [by 100%], per capita consumption of beer in Slovakia fell by approximately twenty litres,” ZVPaS' executive director, Roman Susták, told just-drinks today (23 September).

In a letter to the Government, ZVPaS has highlighted that the 2003 increase resulted in a fall in beer production of up to 1.5m hectolitres. It added that seven breweries closed down and 1,200 workers were made redundant.

The current proposal still has to be approved by Slovakia's Parliament.