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Equality! Justice!

This is a question that had been going around my mind for some time and about which I would have probably forgotten, had it not been for two separate pieces that appeared recently in the Czech press (what would my life be without the news aggregator of Pivní.Info).

The first one, originally published in, talks about a proposal by two senators to modify the beer tax system. Their idea is to base it on the ABV % instead of the wort's density. Quite sensible, but I'd like to know the details before giving an opinion. Anyway, what I wanted to talk about isn't that, but what one of the senators and Stanislav Bernard are quoted saying by the end of the piece, wine tax, or actually, the lack thereof.

The second piece goes straight to the point. It appeared originally in and it's signed by Ladislav Jakl, local beer personality, rocker and in his free time, Secretary of the President of the Czech Republic (yes, the same one that loves fancy pens). There Jakl calls for a special tax to be levied on wine, just as it is on beer. (for those who read Czech, I recommend the whole editorial, it's very interesting).

And the question that I mention above is right there. Why isn't wine taxed the same way as beer is?

Let's see. Beer and wine are both non-distilled alcoholic drinks.

Both are basically agricultural products. Someone could argue that wine has a more direct relationship with agriculture, but beer makes up for that by being supplied from two different crops.

Both are strongly tied to local cultures.

Both are produced by big corporations and by small companies.

Directly or indirectly, both give jobs to God knows how many people, and generate tourism.

It is said that a moderate intake of both has more or less plausible health benefits, while their abuse has well documented risks.

And yet, only beer has an excise duty tax.

Mind you, nobody here is calling for a repeal, or a reduction, of the beer tax (though nobody would be against it, either), and neither is this any wine vs beer nonsense. This is about making things fairer.

The Czech government, just like every other, needs more cash and there are people who would like to raise the beer tax further. Before doing that (and modifying the current system) they should levy a similar tax (based on a similar system) on wine.

It doesn't matter which drink you like better, if you are someone who believes in fairness, repeat after me:


Na Zdraví!

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  1. A-fucking-men!

    Though having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if some knob made the argument that wine is a luxury item and as such shouldn't be taxed because it would be a tax on the rich and as we all know taxing the rich is bad for the economy and effects job creation, because, as we all know, it is the untaxed rich that create jobs.

    A great theory, the only problem being, it is complete bollocks.

  2. That argument is bollocks in so many ways. Wine a luxury item, yeah, right.

  3. Well, the real reason is France's clout in the EU, especially backed up by Italy (+Spain)

  4. I've read that and I believe it's true, and also believe it's a very poor excuse.


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