Duty on Alcoholic Beverages
94. I pledged in last
year's Budget to review the duty on alcoholic
have now conducted a two-month public consultation
would like to emphasise that the duty under review is
imposed not only on wine but also on other alcoholic
beverages such as beer, rice wine and spirits.
We have received a
diversity of views on the subject.
Those in favour of maintaining the present rate
consider that the duty provides a stable source of
revenue for the Government and acts as a disincentive to
drinking, consistent with the objective of protecting
public health. Those
in favour of lowering the duty rate think that this
would boost consumption, as the rate is higher in Hong
Kong than in neighbouring jurisdictions such as the
Some people believe that
drinking wine, particularly red wine, is the preserve of
only a few rich people. This
is not the case. According
to last year's figures, the average retail price of
the top 10 best-selling wines in
was only $55 per bottle.
On the contrary, the high-end products that
attracted a duty above $500 accounted for only about 0.1
per cent by volume of the wine market as a whole,
an extremely small share.
Reducing the duty on alcoholic beverages,
therefore, will not only benefit all consumers but also
help promote the culture of wine appreciation in
. In fact,
many in the tourism industry, along with other business
people, have told me that
has the potential to become a wine exhibition and
After taking into account
the divergent views of the public, I have decided to
maintain the status quo for now.