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Fears New Alcohol Tax May Increase Hard-Liquor Consumption

Bangkok, Tue Sep 05 2017
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A health expert has spoken out about his concerns that the new alcohol taxation system may encourage drinkers on a budget to turn away from beer and toward cheap, local white liquor.

Supreeda Adulyanon, manager of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, thinks the new tax system, which may see the price of mass market beer jump, might mean that working-class Thais begin drinking more of the cheap, low-quality white liquor known as lao khao.

Supreeda revealed that the number of drinkers in Thailand over recent years has stayed steady. Many Thais say that they prefer to drink beer over liquor, but they’ll need far less of the cheap, local liquor to feel the same effects, reported The Nation.

The new tax system is planned to go into effect on September 16th. Under the new system, each alcohol product will be taxed based on the retail price of the product. Under the old system, tax was calculated based on the price to produce the product. This system is called Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) taxation. Some said this system favoured large producers, since they could produce a lot of their mass-market, common products very cheaply, reported Bangkok Post.

According to this story in Thai Post, the cabinet is still working out the details of the new tax structure, even though it’s supposed to go into effect in less than two weeks. So, we don’t yet know how much we can expect the cost of a can of beer or bottle of whisky to jump.

The new excise tax system applies to many items considered non-essential or luxury, including vehicles, cigarettes, and air conditioners, among others. Fans of the new system claim that it will make the market more fair for producers.

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