Thailand's hysteria & archaic tax codes keep it in alcohol mess

on 31/10/10 at 2:21 pm

Industry

Hysteria and archaic tax codes are keeping the country from getting much benefit out of the lucrative and inevitable adult beverage industry.

Thailand’s alcohol beverage regime is both a failed taxation system and a failed health policy. To move on to the next level of national maturity in this area a transparent and total revamp is needed or more problems are surely in the offing.

During the Thaksin government, a reporter met then health minister Sudarat Keyuraphan and challenged her by stating that Thailand’s alcohol tax system ran contrary to the nation’s health needs. The reporter’s point was that whiskey, which contains 35% to 40% alcohol, is taxed less than beverages with a lower percentage of alcohol, such as Thai wines that typically contain about 12%.

The health minister replied, ”You have made your point”, and then walked off, ending the conversation.

A few weeks later Thaksin said that it would be a good idea to adopt the universal standard of taxing adult beverages according to the amount of alcohol they contain. But, of course, no bill was presented to change the existing and upside-down policy.

{Full story via Bangkok Post}

Enhanced by Zemanta