EU member states have reached a provisional agreement on modernized taxation rules for alcohol products, following a meeting held on June 24, at which member states’ ambassadors to the EU provisionally endorsed proposals to update the excise duty rules on alcohol within the EU.
Since 1992, EU countries have had in place common rules to ensure that excise duties are applied in the same way and to the same products everywhere in the EU. These rules include minimum excise duty rates. The reform package will extend the special regime of reduced excise duty rates for small beer and ethyl alcohol producers to producers of other fermented drinks, such as cider. It will increase the threshold for lower strength beer that can benefit from reduced rates from 2.8 percent volume to 3.5 percent volume, with the aim of incentivizing consumers to choose … Read More »
It is frequently said that governments give with one hand and take back with the other with tax policy, particularly at budget time. And the greatest trick of the finance minister is to do this without anyone really noticing. They don’t always pull it off though, because some clever so-and-so in the media, or whose job it is to hold governments to account, usually notices such creative budgetary accounting and broadcasts it. But still they try.
Italian taxpayers must be getting used to this game of give and take. There, the Government is desperate to deliver meaningful tax cuts in line with its policy of reducing economy-strangling tax and regulation. But it’s struggling to deliver. Spending must be cut, not only for the health of the Italian economy, but also under EU fiscal rules designed to prevent runaway deficits. But spending cuts … Read More »
In the parlance of global trade, “dumping” occurs when products are exported to one or more countries at below the price they are sold in their home market, or at below cost price. It is generally perceived that such pricing practices are deliberate and predatory: producers of widgets in country A slash prices to the point where producers of widgets in country B simply can’t compete, enabling the former to grab a larger share of country B’s market for widgets. To protect domestic industry, the remedy that country B’s government will most likely use, after much lobbying from said injured industry, is anti-dumping duties. These force up the price of widgets imported from country A, thereby leveling the competitive playing field. Simple but ingenious, no? Well, no. Where do we consumers of widgets stand in all this? Nowhere, is the … Read More »