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Liquor tax revenue surpassed 3 trill. won last year

Posted August. 29, 2016 07:05,   

Updated August. 29, 2016 07:13


The liquor tax revenue recorded an all-time high last year, indicating a consistent increase of alcohol consumption despite sluggish economy.

According to the announcement of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance and the National Tax Service on Sunday, the liquor tax jumped by 13.2 percent last year, collecting 3.23 trillion won (2.89 billion U.S. dollars). It is the first time in Korea that the liquor tax revenue exceeds 3 trillion won. The government first collected 1 1.22 trillion won (1.98 billion dollars) in taxes from liquor in 1990 and the revenue surpassed the 2 trillion won mark in 1999 with 2.780 trillion won (2.49 billion dollars) right after the financial crisis.

The increase of liquor tax revenue is attributable to the growing consumption of alcoholic beverages. Korean men consume 1.4 shots of soju per person at one time, higher than the WHO recommendation of 5.9 shots of soju or 50ml, according to the Food and Drug Safety Ministry's survey on the consumption and intake of alcoholic beverages in the first half of 2016. The alcohol consumption of Korean women is higher than WHO average regardless of liquor type.

Against this backdrop, the amount of delivery of alcoholic beverages (excluding pure ethanol) increased fivefold during the period of 1966 and 2014 from 737,000 kiloliter to 3.701 million kiloliter. Beer was the most sold liquor as of 2014 with 58.7 percent of the total release, and diluted soju and unrefined rice wine came at second and third with 25.9 percent and 11.6 percent, respectively.

세종=손영일 기자scud2007@donga.com