Turkey wakes up to tax hikes on alcohol, tobacco and electricity in New Year
REUTERS photoThe cost of cigarettes, alcoholic drinks and electricity are all set to lighten Turks’ wallets after the government imposed price hikes on the goods and services with the advent of the new year.
The government increased special taxes on the goods two days after announcing a 30 percent hike in the minimum wage for workers.
The minimum fixed tax rate on tobacco products increased by 5.1 percent to 4.42 liras and the fixed rate by 25 percent to 0.25 liras to mark the New Year.
The minimum fixed tax rate for beer has been increased by 0.18 liras to 1.03 liras. The minimum fixed tax rate for two liters of rakı has been increased by 23 liras to 130.68 liras.
Electricity prices were also increased by 6.8 percent as of Jan. 1.
A special tax that is added to mobile phone sales has also been hiked by 30 percent to 160 liras.
Experts have continually warned about the rise of counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes, as well as bootlegged alcoholic drinks, amid the rise in taxes in recent years.
Smuggled cigarettes have reportedly cost the Turkish economy around 20 billion liras over the last five years.
Thousands of liters of bootlegged alcohol have recently been seized in police raids in several provinces across Turkey, while 44 people died mainly in Istanbul and İzmir in 2015 as a result of poisoning from bootlegged alcohol.