Minister of Finance Matti Vanhanen (center) has said that the increase in the alcohol tax will be considered in the autumn budget debate. If it is decided to implement the tax increase, it can take effect as early as next year.

According to the government program entry, the alcohol tax increases will be continued by EUR 50 million during the government term.

  • Alcohol tax may rise at the turn of the year - Vanhanen: The decision will be made in the autumn budget debate

Janne Kalluinen, an economist at the Central Union of Taxpayers, calculated how much alcoholic beverages would become more expensive if tax increases were made on average with the same weightings as the corresponding increases in 2018 and 2019.

In that case, a 0.33 liter beer (4.7%) would rise by three cents, a 0.75 liter wine bottle (12%) by about 20 cents and a 0.5 liter bottle of spirits (40%) by about 30 cents.

If the increases were made relatively equal for all types of beverages, a 0.5-liter spirits would be priced a little over 50 cents. A 0.33-liter beer would rise in price by three and a 0.75-liter bottle of wine by 17 cents.

Uutissuomalainen was the first to report on the matter.

Photo: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

Kalluinen says that he considers the use of weightings like 2018 and 2019 more likely than making increases without weightings. However, he points out that the priorities for tax tightening are not yet known.

- Past emphases do not guarantee how we will act in the future.

- Tax cuts on spirits have been found to be difficult for passenger imports. On the other hand, in the summer of 2019, alcohol taxes on spirits and milder beverages were reduced in Estonia, which may have an impact from the perspective of Finland's tax tightening.

The government's program states that "changes in the operating environment so that the effects on passenger imports are monitored" will be taken into account. This year, passenger imports were completely on hold due to travel restrictions due to the coronavirus.

Kalluinen says that the Finnish beer tax is the highest in the EU. The second highest beer tax is in Ireland. There, the tax rate on beer is 22.55 cents / cl of pure alcohol. In Finland, the corresponding tax level is 36.50 cents / cl of pure alcohol.

0.33 beer cans (4.5%) contain about 1.49 centilitres of pure alcohol. The difference between the Finnish and Irish alcohol taxes is therefore about 21 cents per can of beer.