From NYT, a proposed tax on beer has French imbibers, producers and intermediaries upset. E.g., from a bar owner:
“The increase is brutal; 160 percent is a lot,” said Mr. Thillou, 36, who prides himself on promoting French microbreweries. On a barrel near the entrance, a pile of fliers that say “+160% taxes on beer: Who is going to pay the price?” shows what he thinks of the government’s latest plan for raising revenue.
But the goverment may be rasing revenue the right way, by taxing goods with inelastic demand:
Philippe Lessevre, 26, who had come for a beer, said higher prices would not change his drinking. “It will affect my wallet,” Mr. Lessevre allowed, “but not my consumption.”
But Mr. Charvier was still skeptical about the government’s professed concerns for public health. “It’s the same as for cigarettes: If a percentage of the price goes into their pocket, they still need people to continue buying,” he said. “It’s hypocritical.”
But, of course, there are always lobbyists:
Many opponents of the bill suggested that wine was exempted because the industry has greater political clout, given that it is one of the country’s top three exporters and employs 250,000 people. Wine is currently taxed around the same rate as beer, per hectoliter, but unlike the rates for beer, its rates do not increase with the degrees of alcohol.