The Ministry of Finance announced an increase in excise taxes on alcohol and cigarettes

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It is clear that the budget deficit this year is huge and needs to be patched up somehow: it is possible that an increase in excise taxes on “vices” will attract additional funds to the revenue side of the treasury. The indexation planned for next year concerns strong alcohol, weak alcohol (with a volume fraction of ethyl alcohol up to 9%) and wine. However, it will not affect Russian champagne and vape liquids.

On the one hand, such an increase in excise taxes is not God knows how high: a bottle will rise in price by a dozen or two rubles on average. On the other hand, this increase lasts constantly, from year to year, and many drinkers – especially from among the poor – can no longer withstand this price race. It is unlikely that at the same time they join the ranks of teetotalers, rather, they switch to “hawthorn”.

According to Vadim Drobiz, director of the Center for Research on Federal and Regional Alcohol Markets, prices for strong and weak alcohol will not change significantly due to the increase in excise taxes. If today the minimum cost of a bottle of vodka is 281 rubles, then from the coming year it will be 299-310 rubles. .

– The difference of 15-20 rubles does not play a special role, – he says. – Although it must be admitted that in Russia, with low incomes of the population, both legal vodka and legal tobacco are beyond the reach of many consumers.

It is especially difficult for fans to “smoke”. After Russia announced an anti-smoking crusade, the cost of cigarettes skyrocketed. Today, the minimum price of a pack is set at 117 rubles, but the average cost of popular brands ranges from 180-200 rubles – almost commensurate with a bottle of vodka!

But the average Russian buys alcohol maybe once a week, or even once a month, and cigarettes or cigarettes every day.

It is appropriate to recall that in Soviet times (before Gorbachev’s perestroika), a bottle of vodka cost 2.67 rubles, 3.62 and 4.12 rubles. Whereas a pack of Prima cigarettes (popular among the people) costs 14 kopecks, and Belomorkanal costs 22 kopecks. Ten times cheaper than booze…

The beginning of 2024 will bring another surprise for those who like to drink and smoke. New minimum retail prices will be set for alcohol and tobacco. Anything lower in value should immediately alert the buyer: illegal goods, from which you should stay away. It is better to pay more in the store, but be sure of the quality of the purchase. The “minimum wage” includes both the increase in the excise tax rate and inflation for the entire previous year.

– My position is that the change in excise rates should be differentiated. They should not be raised for low-alcohol drinks, wines and beer, – says Petr Shelishch, chairman of the Consumers Union of Russia. – From them the harm to health is much less, the authorities should stimulate their consumption as opposed to hard liquor.

– What is the fault of strong alcohol? He also has a lot of fans…

– There are two concepts in the world: northern and southern alcohol consumption. The northern, based on alcohol, has more severe consequences for humans. In addition, strong strong drinks are most often counterfeited. And no one has died from grape wine.

– Well, do you support the growth of excises on tobacco?

– As for the rise in price of tobacco products, I am on the side of the state in this regard, although I sympathize and understand smokers. According to the Federal State Statistics Service, tobacco prices increased the most. So let’s kick this bad habit. However, in the language of statistics, both alcohol and cigarettes are called inelastic goods. No matter how you raise their prices, they will still buy.

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