France plans goliath beer tax hike

France is known for its cafe culture, al fresco (en plein air) dining, good food, good drinks and good times. It is one of the many reasons that international movers settle for an expat life in the European country, an open way of living so to speak.
However, those who have a particular taste for beer will find their idea of the beautiful life (la belle vie) dented by news that taxes are set to rise on the alcoholic beverage by an unprecedented 160 per cent.
French politicians are keen to push home the controversial law, which will result in the price of beer in both bars and supermarkets increasing by a substantial 20 per cent.
According to reports, president Francoise Hollande sees this tax hike as an effective way in which to raise capital that can be redirected into social projects for young people and the elderly.
Simon Spillane, a senior advisor at Brewers of Europe, a lobbying organisation, told the BBC that this was a “real blow to the industry”.
He added: “Across the EU we have already seen beer production fall by six per cent and consumption fall by eight per cent since the start of the economic crisis.”
While beer, in comparison to other European nations, represents a small part of France’s alcoholic drinks market – approximately 16 per cent – the impact of the tax is still likely to have a dramatic effect, especially on smaller breweries and establishments.
Interestingly, there has been no indication from the government that wine, which is deeply embedded in the country’s cultural identity, is to undergo a similar rise in taxes.
If you’re moving to France, find out how our international removals team can help to arrange packing, storage and transportation on your behalf.