Health Ministry freezes up on health implications to Treasury’s major alcohol tax cuts

Ministry doesn't allow any interviews with public health officials, and doesn't carry out on its promise that a senior public health official would give a background briefing on the matter.

By
September 9, 2015 20:50
1 minute read.
beer

Beer [Illustrative]. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Although the Health Ministry welcomed the significant hike in alcohol taxes two years ago, it was almost speechless on Tuesday and Wednesday when asked about the public health consequences of the large reduction in alcohol taxes that took effect at midnight on Tuesday.

The Health Ministry did not allow any interviews with public health officials, and it did not carry out on its promise that a senior public health official would give a background briefing on the matter. It issued only a very terse comment saying: “There is no doubt that excessive consumption of alcohol is a significant health danger. In many cases there are strict contraindications of drinking alcohol and being pregnant.”

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


It did not mention the higher risk of road accidents; the higher risk of cirrhosis and other liver diseases; and the danger to children and teenagers who get their hands on cheaper alcohol and suffer damage from drinking.

The Health Ministry then restated the press release from the Treasury when it announced the 46 percentage point cut in beer taxes and the 21 percentage point reduction in whiskey, liquor and wine taxes.

“The subject was discussed by the Tax Authority. They set up a committee that found that as a result of the higher prices, there was not a reduction in alcohol consumption.

In any case, counterfeit products, some of which endanger public health and can cause health damage and even death, have appeared in the market,” the Health Ministry said. “Therefore, after the balances of public health and the economic considerations, it was decided to return the situation to what was before and reduce exposure of the public to counterfeit products.”

The Health Ministry has not, however, urged the Treasury to cut tobacco taxes even though the market has large number of counterfeit cigarettes and other tobacco products.



Health Ministry officials were not included in the Tax Authority committee discussions.

Related Content

PROF. AVIRAM NISSAN performing lifesaving surgery at Sheba Medical Center.
July 18, 2018
Sheba Medical Center is a global leader in HIPEC surgery

Sponsored Content