Turkey Raises Alcohol Tax By 13.4%
Turkey has raised consumption taxes on alcoholic beverages by 13.5% in 2019. An average 70 cc bottle of the anise-flavored traditional alcoholic drink rakı will be subject to 79.86 liras ($ 15) of tax, it said, while the tax on a 50 cc can of beer has gone from 4.59 lira to 5.21($ 0.98) lira. The tax increase follows a 15.5% price hike in alcohol fees in July.
Turkey implements tax hikes in alcoholic beverages twice a year in line with its share in the domestic producer price index.
High rates of harm among alcohol users
Per capita consumption in Turkey is 2.0 liters per year, well below the average of the WHO European region (9.8 liters). 93% of the adult population did not use alcohol in the past year. But among the alcohol users, per capita consumption is almost 29 liters.
Alcohol taxation – a best buy alcohol policy solution
In contrast to Big Alcohol claims, alcohol taxation is endorsed by the World Health Organization as a best buy measure in reducing and preventing alcohol-related harm.
For example, a study of 42 high-, middle- and low-income countries found that raising excise duties on alcohol to at least 40% of the total retail price would increase tax revenue in these countries by 80% to US$ 77 Billion. Expressed as a proportion of total current spending on health, it is low-income countries that have most to gain (additional receipts would amount to 38% of total current spending on health).
Implementation of evidence-based alcohol taxation is also likely to have a net positive effect on employment, as consumers divert their spending on other (healthier) products, services and needs.