They say that the best things in life are free – unless you love beer, then you’ll have to fork out more for your favourite beverage from now.
The Government revamped the alcohol tax structure on March 1, which simplifies the taxing of the beverages by basing this on the alcohol value per litre of each product.
Prior to the revision, alcohol tax was at 15% and it was last revised 10 years ago.
With the new alcohol tax structure, tax payable for beer is expected to go up by an additional 10% and even up to 100% for brews with strong alcohol content.
Before this, a 320ml can of regular Tiger and Carlsberg typically went for about RM10.50, while a 500ml can of Guinness retailed at RM15.40. Carlsberg Special Brew was priced at RM14.70 per can.
The increase will likely translate to a several ringgit hike for these products. It is forecast that stout could see the highest hike in taxes.
In response to the new tax structure, Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB) managing director Hans Essaadi confirmed that the company had made price adjustments to its products.
However, he expressed concern that the latest development might result in an increase in demand for illicit and unregulated alcohol products.
As is, Malaysia has had the third highest tax on alcohol worldwide, behind Norway and Singapore.
Malaysia also has the 10th largest drinking population worldwide, spending an estimated RM2 billion annually on alcoholic beverages.