The National Coalition will not approve of any increases in alcohol taxation until the alcohol law reform has been passed in its entirety.
The party is thereby only prepared to raise the alcohol tax if the maximum alcohol content for beverages sold at grocery shops is raised from 4.7 to 5.5 per cent, Jukka Kopra, the first deputy chairperson of the National Coalition Parliamentary Group, confirmed to Uusi Suomi on Monday.
“If the alcohol law reform isn’t passed according to plan in its entirety, also the tax increase will be called off,” he stated.
Simon Elo, the chairperson of the Blue Parliamentary Group, and Antti Kaikkonen, the chairperson of the Centre Parliamentary Group, were not as adamant on the issues, although both of them indicated that the tax increase would be discussed only after a vote on the reform bill by the Parliament.
“If [the] 5.5% [limit] is not passed, the government will examine carefully if the tax increase is justified,” Kaikkonen replied to Uusi Suomi.
Elo, similarly, viewed that the proposed de-regulation and tax increase should be approached as a single entity. “The government refers to the impacts of de-regulating [alcohol retail sales] in its proposal to raise the alcohol tax. We must first look at the de-regulation and then the tax increase,” he said.
The Finnish government is seeking to present both of the proposals to the Parliament before Christmas in order to implement the reforms as of the beginning of 2018.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi