Oct 9, 2009

Putin Hates Beer

Remember when Medvedev called alcoholism "a national disaster" and vowed to fight it? Putin has responded to the challenge. Under a new law, the Duma will impose a 200% tax increase on beer, followed by a 11% increase in 2011, and a 20% increase in 2012.

According to Marketwatch, the draft bill has prompted howls from "the mostly foreign-owned brewing industry whose profits are bound to be hurt by the measures."

Clearly, Putin's Duma only believes that alcoholism is a problem for Russians who drink Baltika and other foreign-owned labels. Meanwhile, those who can’t afford the tax will have to switch to mouthwash, or -- wait for it -- domestically-produced vodka.

Is that what we were trying to accomplish Medvedev, to force beer drinkers to switch to vodka and brake fluid? If so, then we might need to redefine the term "national disaster."

Take that alchoholism!


Ern said...

There are just more and more reasons for me not to return to Moscow.

Anonymous said...

A VTsIOM survey conducted on August 11, results published September 2009 revealed that the public supports the government anti-alcohol initiative:

 A majority of Russians (66%) are aware of the president's initiative to launch a state-sponsored campaign to fight alcoholism and other harmful addictions.

 A majority of Russians (65%) support the idea to launch an anti-alcohol campaign.

 First of all, sales of alcoholic drinks to youths under 21 (63%) should be banned, a blanket ban on all alcohol advertising should be imposed, including soft alcoholic drinks (57%). Healthy, alcohol-free lifestyles should be promoted (47%).

 As few as 3% of Russians believe that the government should remain completely on the sidelines.

Either people are lying through their teeth, or they support the government's position.

In any event, the vodka companies are getting off the hook on this one... for now. The government might create a vodka monopoly and get all the tax revenue.

BTW - I've also read that half of the vodka consumed is not stamped with an excise sticker, meaning that Russians have access to samogon. I suspect more poisonings.

Anonymous said...

Vadim Drobiz, Director of TsIFRRA alcohol market research agency: “The price of a bottle of beer will rise on average by six rubles as a result of the excise duty hike – it is not the kind of price increase that would steer people towards vodka. A much bigger impact on beer consumption will come from the fact that beer may be equated to
alcoholic beverages, and also if a ban on beer sales in kiosks is introduced along with a
blanket ban on beer advertising. All these factors combined could translate into a 25% market drop.” (October 5, 2009, RBC Daily)

Pirates(and)Diplomats said...

I once saw a woman sell a bottle of vodka to an 8 year old.

I'm sure the 200% tax on beer will solve this problem.

Christian said...

When will this law be settled?
What date?