Czechs, world's top beer drinkers, may get even cheaper brew

PRAGUE – The Czechs, the biggest beer consumers in the world, could soon have a reason to drink even more after the finance minister proposed lowering tax on the drink by more than half.

Finance Minister Andrej Babis is proposing to cut the value added tax on draft beer to 10 per cent from 21 per cent. Babis says the measure is meant to soften the opposition to another plan currently debated by Parliament for a mandatory electronic registration of all sales.

Babis said Tuesday: “It’s not a populist proposal. It makes sense.”

Not everyone in the three-party government agrees with the proposal, though.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says it goes against his government’s strategy to lower the consumption of alcohol. His Social Democrats would prefer to lower the tax on basic food.