Last-minute changes to bill better for spirit makers, worse for tobacco companies

Banking

MPs of governing Fidesz made last-minute changes to a bill late Monday that would raise the excise tax on cigarettes more than planned and the excise tax on spirits less than planned in the original bill.

Originally, the bill would have raised only the excise tax paid as a percentage of the retail price of cigarettes, just one of two excise tax elements cigarette makers must pay. The changes to the bill would raise the other excise tax element too, increasing the tax on 1,000 cigarettes from HUF 9,750 to HUF 10,500 from November 1, to HUF 11,300 from May 1 of next year, and to 11,750 from November 1.

Another change would raise the excise tax for all spirits by just 5%. Originally, the 5% increase was to apply only to spirits flavoured with natural aroma, while the tax was to rise far more for other spirits.

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