Dutch authorities are reported to be increasing the excise duty on RTD (ready-to-drink) beverages such as Smirnoff Ice.

A Dutch news report said prices of low-alcohol cocktail drinks will increase by an excise duty of €0.60 (US$0.79) per bottle in 2006.

The increase is part of efforts to lower alcohol abuse by underage drinkers. The country's finance minister Gerrit Zalm is also planning a €0.02 (US$0.04) per bottle excise duty on beer.