E-Malt.com News article: The Czech Republic: Drug coordinator criticizes Finance Ministerís proposal to lower VAT on draught beer
The Czech Republic should fight the excessive drinking of alcohol beverages and not decrease taxes on them and make them more accessible, national drug coordinator Jindrich Voboril told CTK on January 29, criticising Finance Minister Andrej Babis's proposal for lower VAT on draught beer.
The proposal runs counter to the approved government plan of fighting alcohol impact, he said.
Czechs lead international standings in alcohol consumption. Moreover, its consumption among children and youth is one of the highest in the EU.
"The World Health Organisation (WHO) has repeatedly warned of the extreme situation concerning alcohol consumption in the Czech Republic. It says pricing is one of the most efficient tools in the fight (against drinking) and making access to alcohol more difficult. Not lowering, but raising the price matters," Voboril said.
He called Babis's (ANO) proposal populist.
Voboril said if the proposal won support, he would have to be considering his resignation.
Last year the centre-left government of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) approved a plan to limit the damage caused by alcohol with the aim to cut the per capita consumption of pure ethanol by 5 percent in five years and by 30 percent in ten years, Voboril pointed out.
According to the statistics, about 12.5 percent of people over 15 drink alcohol daily (19 percent of men and over 6 percent of women).
03 February, 2016