High spirits: France mulls massive tax hike on strong liquor

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High spirits: France mulls massive tax hike on strong liquor
Photo: World EPCC / Flickr

The price of Cognac and Calvados could soon soar with the French government mulling a massive hike in taxes on strong alcoholic drinks as part of a crackdown on beverages that are bad for your health.


It could be bad news for anyone in France who enjoys a glass of Pastis, Chartreuse or Cognac. Or indeed those who make some of France's most famous strong liquors.

The government is considering setting its sights on raising the price of strong alcoholic drinks (with an alcohol level over 15 percent) via a tax increase, Les Echos reported
The proposal, put forward by Olivier Véran, could be part of the government's new social security budget, which is set to be presented on Wednesday.
The suggested tax hike would form part of a raft of measures to increase the price tag on drinks that negatively affect health, including sugary soft drinks.
The tax increase would affect brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and whiskies, as well as other spirits, which typically contain 40 percent alcohol.
(Photo: Sacreligious/ Flickr)
French wine and beer, which contain less alcohol, would be exempt from the price hike. Although certain fortified French wines like Muscat would fall under the new tax.
If the increase gets the green light it would mean big gains for the government with an initial estimation suggesting coffers could be boosted by the tune of €150 million. 
However reports suggest the government is divided on the matter.
But it's not just spirits that would be subject to the government's price hike but fizzy drinks too. 
The "soda tax" is part of an attempt to crack down on the consumption of sugary drinks to combat obesity and diabetes following an international recommendation from the United Nations. 
This measure is however controversial, with health minister Agnès Buzyn saying that increasing the price of fizzy drinks would simply be a "tax on the poor".


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