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Within Frameworks of a New Anti-Alcohol Campaign "Dear Russians" Will Be Shifted from Beer to Vodka

Within Frameworks of a New Anti-Alcohol Campaign "Dear Russians" Will Be Shifted from Beer to Vodka
Delyagin Michael 29.08.2009

According to data of the governmental body of Russia, the project of new increase of documentary stamps is in the process of preparation for bringing into the State Duma.

Such increase in itself is a routine part of normal budgetary process: increasing prices for sub-excise goods is necessary to increase excises also - usually within reasonable limits of inflation with these or that branch corrections.

As pitiable position of economy sharply raised customs role in the sphere of filling of the federal budget: in 2009, for example, customs incomes should exceed tax ones and not simply "exceed" but at once on third for the first time from time immemorial.

However, comparison of excise-duty rise for vodka and beer leaves shock impression: if they suppose to increase excise-duties for vodka on 20% which are quite understandable and almost corresponding to the size of official inflation, excises for beer - at once on 200%.

Yes - yes, dear reader, it's not a printing mistake: thrice.

It all happens after increase by 32% in 2008 (for knock-down - 20%) with promise to increase prices to the extend of inflation within next two years (though in 2009 they were increased by 20% - up to 3,3 roubles per litre)...

It's clear that producers of different groups of alcoholic drinks battle with each other more severely, than representatives of conflicting religious sects. Eventually, "intraspecific competition is always more sharp, than interspecific" - it's ineradicable law of nature including economic activities. As long as beer business was not actually engaged in lobbying in the sphere of excises, it should pay for it sooner or later.

Yes, of course, unbridled advertising of beer "screw down" all long time ago, as well as humiliating explanations of brewers that without drinking beer people cannot watch habitual football matches on TV.

However it's not less obvious: whatever insignificant was the share of excises in the final price for beer, such jump will lead to its appreciable rise in price - by estimations, 3,5 roubles for a bottle, that is exclusively painful for cheap and not so cheap type of beer. Reduction of its production (in 2008 it decreased by 0.6% for the first time from the beginning of 90s) and consumption, at that not at the expense of growth of soberness but the growth of consumption of vodka, rather small growth of excises for which will make it more accessible.

Thus under thunderous chatting of official propaganda about almost new anti-alcoholic campaign opposite things are being done: qualitative strengthening of alcoholizing of the population of our Native land, making them shift from low alcohol drinks to strong ones.

I'll repeat once again: this process has many nuances. It is clear that discredit of Medvedev's anti-alcoholic initiative with personally him is being carried out thus. It is clear that vodka lobby gains convincing victory over beer one. It is clear that the ruling kleptocracy shows organic inability to do anything in general, even within the limits of so traditional actions as anti-alcoholic campaign (which were carried out even before war and next-to-last took place in the early seventies).

However this all is for analysts.

Russians this decision, when "Edinaya Russia" will stamp it (as usually singing inexpressible wisdom of management praises), will affect in the most trivial way: natural thirst for bottle arising in crisis hopelessness will be repeatedly strengthened by excise policy of the government and change of a parity of prices for beer and vodka.

Under lulling conversations about anti-alcoholic propaganda they will accustom us to drinking even more vigorously and severely, than earlier. If to take also into account that, by some estimations, volumes of deliveries of heroin to Russia from the beginning of the year sharply grew - picture appears to be absolutely unattractive.

It is possible to hope, of course, that president Medvedev who has to sign it finally within the limits of the budget, will pay attention what the government supervised by him does with Russians (as well as with own image).

However, I am not sure that, having paid attention, he could correct something: eventually, he does not make impression of a person who represents real power in Russia.

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