While a tax hike was not earlier in the agenda of the ruling party, the government seems to have revised their policies as Czech Finance Minister Alena Schiller, who comes from the country’s popular ANO party, called for an increase in tax on all vices including lotteries, gambling, and sports betting.
The tax hike is also for alcohol and tobacco, and it is expected that the revised increased taxation will come into effect from 2020.
The minister cited an increase in average salary and purchasing power of the citizens to advocate an increase in taxes.
In her statement to the press, the Czech finance minister said: “The average wage growth [in the Czech Republic] between 2009 and 2018 was 45%, while consumer tax on alcohol was last increased in 2010 and we will not raise it again until 2020.”
According to the proposed tax revision, taxes on hard liquor would increase by 13 percent, cigarettes by 10 percent, sports betting by 2 percent and lotteries and games of chance by 7 percent.
The revised and increased taxation could chip in an additional 10 billion crowns in annual tax revenue once it comes into effect.
The country has also been spending significantly on programs related to addressing the problems of vice addiction. A budget of 100 billion is allocated for tobacco addiction, 60 for alcohol addiction, and 15 for gambling addiction.
Favoring the proposed tax increase Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech (ANO) said: “Both the World Health Organization and the OECD recommend that we do something about alcohol and tobacco consumption, and one of the most effective recommendations is a higher tax burden.”