Lithuania has no intention of following in the footsteps of Estonia and Latvia by cutting excise taxes on alcoholic drinks, Finance Minister Vilius Sapoka said.
© DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

"At the moment, we are not discussing any significant excise policy changes. We are not going to get involved in the verbal tussle between Latvia and Estonia over excise duties," Sapoka said in an interview with BNS.

"I don't think that excise wars have ever brought long-term benefits to anyone," he added.

In excise policies, short-term plans must be outweighed by long-term objectives, especially when it comes to products that have an impact on public health, according to the minister.

"Increased availability and consumption of alcohol costs tax-payers much more in the long run," he said.

Estonia is cutting excise tax rates on alcoholic drinks, including beer, by 25 percent, in July in a bid to curb increased trade in alcoholic beverages at the border with Latvia and to lure Scandinavian tourists.

In response, the Latvian parliament decided last week to reduce the excise duty on strong alcohol by 15 percent.

Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said on Wednesday that the Baltic countries should have the same excise tax rate on alcohol.

He said this would allow Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania to use excise taxes as an instrument in the fight for public health instead of engaging in "unnecessary wars".

Lithuania substantially increased excise tax rates on all alcoholic drinks in March 2017 and further raised the duty on strong beverages in March 2019.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.

Government expected to approve Amber Grid's security plan

The Lithuanian government is expected to endorse this week the security plans of the natural gas...

One more victory for Vilnius: Finnish company chose Lithuanian capital for its business services office

Metso has decided to establish a new Metso Business Services (MBS) center in Vilnius , the...

Klaipeda expects record number of cruise ships next year

Lithuania's port of Klaipeda says next year's cruise season should be the best on record, the...

Calls for Lithuania to focus more on climate change

Lithuania is among leaders in Europe in seeking energy independence but the country still lags behind...

Hot weather has brought harvest time earlier

Hot weather during this summer has brought harvest time earlier in Lithuania as the winter barley...