Sin tax in Poland – an example of effectiveness of fiscal measures in alcohol policy
The aim of the regulation was to stop the growing interest in alcoholic beverages in small, handy packages, allowing them to be consumed unnoticed and purchased at a relatively affordable price. Availability, ease of quick consumption, and hence the popularity of the small packaging of alcoholic beverages is significant and has been systematically growing in recent years. The measure was preceded by an analysis of available reports on the development directions of the alcoholic beverages industry and an analysis of the percentage share of excise stamps issued on packaging up to 200 ml (for spirits). Taking into account the European Union’s regulations on volumes of alcoholic beverages packaging, the growing popularity of spirit drinks in the category up to 200 ml and the expanding assortment of wine drinks in such packages, setting the threshold of 300 ml was considered the most optimal to achieve the objectives of the intervention.
Alcoholic beverages with a nominal volume of a drink not exceeding 300 ml are now subject to a levy, which is PLN 25 for each liter of 100% alcohol. The funds from the levy will be allocated to the implementation of the local intersectoral policy of counteracting the negative effects of alcohol consumption and to preventive measures and healthcare services related to psychiatric care, treatment of addictions and other health consequences of alcohol consumption. Only for the first half of 2021, the funds from the fee amounted to 183 266 299 PLN (approx. 40 456 137 EUR). In2021, the percentage share of excise stamps for spirits packages up to 200 ml decreased from 65,54% to 47,98%, compared to 2020. The applied legislative solution contributed not only to reducing the consumption of alcoholic beverages in small packages, but also to an increase in funds to counteract the negative effects of alcohol consumption.