New tax could hit drinkers in the liver

your say September 05, 2017 01:00

Re: “Fears alcohol tax may increase hard-liquor consumption”, The Sunday Nation, September 3.

The Nation reports that the “new tax would be calculated based on retail prices rather than on producer prices as is now done”.

Isn’t that what VAT is?

I hope everyone is ready for the massive price increase that is coming – just like the supposed 2-3 per cent on cigarettes which turned out to be 30-40 per cent. Expect the same with alcohol, or maybe even more. They have to pay for those submarines somehow, and it seems that hitting tourism is the way to go.


A more likely scenario is that the bottles will once again get smaller, rather than prices increase. Soon we will just get a shot of beer for the same price! 


That is going to be one very small bottle. 

Everyone knows Prayut’s view on alcohol, but for the PM to extend those personal views into the economy is a grave error. Thai booze is already expensive when compared to other countries in the region, and in some tourist areas is actually more expensive than in Western countries. This will have the effect of reducing tax revenue, and certain tourists will think twice before coming here when far cheaper alternatives are available.

They really need to think this one through before it is put in place – there are already many businesses that are struggling as it is.

If he is so anti-alcohol, why not use Article 44 and ban it altogether. If Thailand really wants to see tax revenues increase, then combating the endemic disease of corruption is how you do it.


In Vietnam, booze on the street can cost as little as Bt22 to Bt30 for good quality bottled beer and Bt8 to Bt15 for a glass of draft beer. There is no tax or duty or excise on beer and spirits in Vietnam. Tourism is booming.

In Thailand, this could be the stake through the heart of many food, bar and tourism businesses. 

Knowing how Thai military government officials, including the Big Cheese himself, are not particularly inclined to think through the consequences of their impetuous policies, this liquor tax increase has all the makings of an administrative pig’s breakfast.