A packet of cigarettes in Belgium will soon become 25 cents more expensive as a result of increased tax duties on tobacco.
As part of the government’s budget agreement, announced on Tuesday by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open Vld), the cost of cigarettes will be increased, of which the proceeds will go towards reducing the financial burden on the middle class, by gradually phasing out the special social security contribution among other things.
“We are increasing the excise tax on something that is unhealthy and the benefits of that go to people who work and people who get ahead,” De Croo said during the parliamentary debate on the government’s declaration.
“That is good for that group and good for our social security because people who work make our social security stronger,” he added.
In total, this increased excise on tobacco is expected to result in an additional income of €120 million.
In addition, a levy will also be imposed on electronic cigarettes, once a European directive allowing this is published, which is expected to happen next year or at the latest in 2023.
“Today that is an anomaly. The way e-cigarettes are taxed is not in relation to their impact on health,” De Croo explained.
The reduction in the tax burden for the working middle class will be further compensated by the newly announced “boarding tax” on short-haul flights.
The Brussels Times