Poland plans tax increase on tobacco and alcohol
PR dla Zagranicy
The Polish cabinet is considering draft legislation on Wednesday that includes the raising of excise taxes on tobacco products and alcohol.
Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski wants to increase excise taxes on tobacco products by 5 percent, and alcohol by 15 percent.
The measures follow the cabinet's approval on Friday of the draft budget for 2014, which looks to decrease the country's deficit, with revenues reaching 276.9 billion zloty (65.6 billion euro), and spending at 324.6 billion zloty (76.9 billion euro).
Rostowski has argued that the increase on excise taxes for tobacco products is necessary, so that by 2018, Poland reaches the minimum levels laid down by the EU. As a result of this, the price of an average pack of cigarettes could rise by one zloty (0.23 euro).
Poland's tobacco and alcohol industries have already protested against the proposed cuts.
Last month, the Employers Association of the Polish Spirits Industry wrote a letter to Prime Minister Donald Tusk claiming that an increase in excise tax would not raise state revenues, as it would lead to “a collapse in legal sales, and the growth of the black market.” (nh)