Miklos: next target, tobacco and alcohol

The changes recently announced by finance minister Ivan Miklos concerning a shakeup of taxes and levies are not the last dynamic move the minister wants to make in an attempt to get the public finance deficit back under control.

He is now preparing a proposal to hike up excise duty on cigarettes and alcohol next year and it looks like the coalition partners will support him. Some wary critics within the coalition, though, like Jozsef Nagy (Most-Hid), have voiced that if the hikes are excessive we could see a revival of shopping abroad.

Agriculture minister Zsolt Simon is against higher excise duty, which could cause an obstacle to Miklos’ plans in the case of excise on wines. This happened during the previous term when ex-finance minister Jan Pociatek was blocked by then agriculture minister Stanislav Becik.

Ivan Miklos is intent to get the country back on its feet by reducing the public finance deficit and getting more revenue into the coffers, but some feel that he is maybe a bit overzealous and not so sensitive to public opinion or to those who will have to pay the price of the moves.

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