Civil Conservatives do not support increasing excise tax on alcoholic beverages

Conservative party OKS, a member of the governing coalition elected to parliament on the slate of the Most-Híd party, does not plan to support the draft bill on excise tax on alcoholic beverages if the Slovak Cabinet adopts one and submits it to parliament, SITA newswire reported.

Conservative party OKS, a member of the governing coalition elected to parliament on the slate of the Most-Híd party, does not plan to support the draft bill on excise tax on alcoholic beverages if the Slovak Cabinet adopts one and submits it to parliament, SITA newswire reported.

According to the OKS, the current legislation on excise taxes from wine, beer and spirits is fully sufficient and meets European standards.

“The draft bill on excise tax on alcoholic beverages, which automatically levels out the position of wine, does not respect the fact that in all European, wine-producing countries, grape-growing and winemaking have a special status and no country has an excise tax on wine higher than zero,” OKS Chairman Peter Zajac said.

The party further argues that introducing any excise tax on wine would increase its price and would put Slovak producers in a less favorable position compared to those from other EU countries. This would also mean the necessity of introducing new bonded warehouses, which would increase operating and administrative costs. This could further lead to making the sector less competitive and may lead to its decline, increasing unemployment, the OKS argues.

“Another consequence could be the expansion of a illegal market followed by lower VAT and income tax collection, as shown by Slovakia's current experience as well as an unsuccessful experiment in Hungary, which immediately abolished the excise tax on wine after its introduction," Zajac said. "As this would affect thousands of wine and honey mead producers, costs incurred by the state in collecting the excise tax on wine, its management and supervision would be higher than the money collected.”


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