A senior figure at Wines of Chile has told just-drinks that wine is not to blame for drink-related issues in the country, as Chile's alcohol industry faces down controversial tax reforms.

The trade body is continuing to argue its case to the country's Government over the plans to increase levies on alcohol, with a final decision on the proposals expected within three weeks. Chile's president, Michelle Bachelet, announced plans in April to raise taxes on all alcohol, based on alcohol content, Bloomberg reported. “Sugary” drinks will also be taxed higher.

Mario Pablo Silva, Wine of Chile's VP & managing director of producer Casa Silva, told just-drinks late last week: “We do not agree with the reform as it was originally proposed. Wine is part of Chile's traditions and the country's image. It is part of the development of Chile's regions, its jobs. And wine is not the cause of the health problems regarding the alcohol industry.”

He added: “We continue giving our argument to the senator commision and the government. We hope that the final resolution will be in line with our proposals.”  

A decision is expected within two to three weeks, Silva said. 

Under the proposals, beer tax will increase from 15% to 20.5%, wine from 15% to 24%, and pisco from 27% to 35.5%, it was reported.