France To Increase Beer Tax by 160% — But Not Wine Tax

I don't have much to add to what is included in the following Bloomberg report — expect that yet again, François Hollande's comment about health reasons (what a lie!) and the fact that he found one area where France's tax rate is not the highest in the world show again what an ignorant demagog he is.

The French government passed this week a law that adds 480 million euros ($628 million) in new taxes on beer, while leaving wine unscathed. 

“The government doesn’t want to touch wine and Champagne producers because they are much too powerful,” Bogaert said in an interview at his small brewery in Aix-Noulette in northern France, which employs eight people and has 1.5 million euros of revenue.

With beer levies rising 160 percent to bring in the extra receipts, the 2 billion-euro industry is bracing for shrinking sales, investments and jobs. 

Danish brewer Carlsberg A, which owns France’s biggest beer brand Kronenbourg, says it may have to cut jobs in the country.

[...] The beer tax is part of the 24.4 billion euros in additional revenue French President Francois Hollande’s government is trying to raise to meet a pledge to cut the budget deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product in 2013 from 4.5 percent forecast for this year. The government also cited health considerations when it announced the beer-tax increase. 

Taxes from wine and Champagne makers amount to about 120 million euros, while for brewers it’s being raised to more than 800 million euros, Chevremont says.

[...] The wine industry -- from grape growers and wine makers to distributors -- employs 250,000 people in France. That compares with about 75,000 for beer -- from barley growers to sellers of the brew. 
The new tax may boost beer prices by 20 percent, curb consumption and investment and lead to job losses and possible bankruptcies, the Brewers’ Association estimates.
Some expect worse.
“With the tax expected to lead to a 25 to 40 cent increase in the price of a small beer, this will further accelerate the existing trend from café to home consumption, which has already contributed to the closure of 12,000 establishments since 2007,” Bergeron said.

[...] The French president shrugged off concerns, saying France’s tax rate is far from the highest in Europe.

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