The discussion about the unfair treatment of alcohol producers of various types by law returns like a boomerang. Experts emphasize that this not only upsets the market balance, but also has negative financial consequences for the budget and health effects for society. Producers of strong alcohols, as well as the State Agency for Solving Alcohol Problems, pay attention to the preferential treatment of beer in the excise duty policy, which causes losses for the state budget and contributes to an increase in alcohol consumption in general. The second area of unequal treatment is the possibility of – for a limited time, but still – advertising of beer only, which usually excludes cider with a comparable amount of alcohol.
“Alcoholic products, according to the act, which has been in force since 2001, are taxed unequally with regard to the amount of alcohol contained in different types of beverages. Here, beer is privileged because, for example, cider – a low-percentage alcoholic drink – is subject to such excise duty as spirit drinks” – says Henryk Kowalczyk, chairman of the Parliamentary Public Finance Committee.
Beer is responsible for 55 percent of domestic alcohol consumption, but it generates only 28 percent of budget revenues from excise duty, while spirits account for 38 percent of domestic consumption, and generates 69 percent of receipts.
“Excise duty in the beer industry is significantly underestimated and causes very specific losses to the state budget, which can be considered the excise gap” – says Witold Włodarczyk, president of the board of the Polish Spirits Industry Employers’ Association.