Romania discusses fast food tax again, wants to apply vice tax on beer

Fast food chains and brewers might see their revenues shrinking once Romania introduces a tax on fast food products and on alcoholic beer, part of the new planned healthcare law. The move aims to align taxes on vice, as beer and fast food products are seen as unhealthy, according to Romanian Health Minister Vasile Cepoi. The fast food tax was under debate in 2011 too, but it was delayed as authorities argued it would be difficult to implement.

Beer should also be taxed, along with the rest of alcoholic products, according to Cepoi. The new healthcare law is being drafted and its approval will require a political decision.

Last year, when the fast food tax idea was first raised, the employers in the field warned about an increase by over 20 percent in the price of food and sacking 36,000 employees, or 20 percent of the personnel in the food industry.

The biggest fast food chains in Romania are MsDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and Burger King, with total businesses of EUR 160 million in 2010. A newer player is Subway, which opened its first units in Romania this year.

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