Finnish MPs Unanimously Support Alcohol Tax Hike

by VR Sreeraman on  June 16, 2009 at 1:00 PM Alcohol & Drug Abuse News   - G J E 4
Finland's parliament unanimously agreed to hike alcohol taxes by up to 10 percent Monday in an effort to curb excessive drinking, the leading cause of death in the Nordic country.

The move represents the second such rise this year and will be effective from October.
 Finnish MPs Unanimously Support Alcohol Tax Hike
Finnish MPs Unanimously Support Alcohol Tax Hike

The amount tax levied depends on a drink's alcohol content with the price of beer and wine set to rise by three percent and spirits by seven percent.

Taxation on alcohol in Finland is among the highest in Europe after Sweden and Ireland.

Alcohol has been the leading cause of death of Finnish men since 2005, a year after the Nordic country slashed its alcohol tax by 30 percent in an attempt to stem a flood of imports from neighbouring Estonia, where prices were lower.

Excessive drinking has also been the leading cause of death amongst women since 2007.

According to statistics, Finns consumed an average 10.4 litres (2.7 gallons) of pure alcohol per person last year.

Previously alcohol tax was increased on January 1 by 10 percent, but the government announced in March it wanted to raise it for the second time this year over health fears.

The government forecast the latest increase will bring an additional 70 million euros in annual tax revenues.

Source: AFP

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