Increase in alcohol excise duty leaves Belgian jobs with “hangover”

Increase in alcohol excise duty leaves Belgian jobs with “hangover”
The Belgian drinks industry appears doomed at present.

Owing to the increase in excise duty on alcohol, the distributor Diageo plans to invest more in the Netherlands and not in Belgium. This is reported De Tijd, today (Tuesday).

The Michel government reviewed the duty increase last year on strong alcohol and, ever since, Diageo which owns the Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Guinness and KetelOne brands, has been raising the alarm.

In an interview with the Financiële Telegraaf, Dirk Van Ham, the CEO of Diageo Benelux confirmed that the company will now invest more in the Netherlands to the detriment of Belgium.

“We will be investing in all spheres in the Netherlands. We will bolster both our brands and the hotel and catering trade. We will create more jobs in the Netherlands. In Belgium, currently our largest market, we have put the brakes on job growth.”

Van Ham says that the Belgian government will lose out through the increase in excise duty. Along with other businesses, the boss of Diageo is seeking to convince the government that these measures are not yielding economic growth.

The Brussels Times

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