Egypt raises taxes on cigarettes and beer

The Egyptian government has increased the excise tax on cigarettes by 50 percent yesterday. Meanwhile, beer is 200 percent more expensive, while the tax on wine was raised by 150 percent.

The increase in excise duties on alcohol and tobacco fits into a series of recent price increases declared by the Egyptian government. Due to the unrest in the country in the past three years, the Egyptian budget deficit increased up to 12 percent. On Friday night, fuel subsidies were partially lifted, a measure which previous governments have not ventured.

The new President Sisi announced last month when he took office that he would need to take painful measures to achieve economic recovery.

In Egypt, almost 50 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. State subsidies on basic food and energy take a quarter of the budget, i.e. some 22 billion dollars last year.

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