The mooted alcohol legislation reform would significantly reduce the passenger imports of beers, ciders and long drinks, indicates a survey conducted by Taloustutkimus and commissioned by the Finnish Grocery Trade Association (PTY).
PTY believes the proposed legislative changes would cut in half the passenger imports of strong beers, ciders and long drinks from Estonia.
The passenger imports of all alcoholic beverages would decrease by 25 percent, while revenues from the alcohol tax would increase by 4.5 per cent – or by almost 60 million euros – according to the survey.
The legislative reform would also only have a modest impact on total absolute alcohol consumption, as the projected increase in the consumption of mild alcoholic beverages would be all but offset by a drop in the consumption of strong alcoholic beverages.
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Two-thirds of respondents also expressed their support for de-regulating the sales of alcoholic beverages at least to the extent proposed in the reform bill. Nearly six in ten, or 57 per cent, of respondents additionally voiced their approval with the proposed legislative changes, while no more than 12 per cent estimated that mid-strength beers should be retailed exclusively by Alko.
“Finns are ready to tear down regulations on alcohol sales and move towards a more European legislation,” Kari Luoto, the managing director of PTY, says in a press release.
“The place of speciality beers and wines is alongside food both at the dining table and in grocery shops. This should be the case also in Finland, instead of us having one of the strictest regulatory environments for alcohol,” he adds.
The Finnish Government is proposing that the maximum alcohol content of beverages sold in grocery shops be raised from 4.7 to 5.5 per cent and that grocery shops be also allowed to retail alcoholic beverages not produced by means of fermentation, such as canned cocktails.
Taloustutkimus interviewed a total of 2,091 people for the survey in December.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi