Alcohol prices in Iceland 126 percent higher than in EU Skip to content

Alcohol prices in Iceland 126 percent higher than in EU

According to recent figures from Statistics Iceland, based on a Eurostat study, the price of alcoholic beverages in Iceland is 126 percent higher than the average price of alcohol within the EU. Only Norway has higher alcohol prices.

“I have been of the opinion for a long time that alcohol prices in Iceland are far too high,” the vice-chairman of the Social Democrats (Samfylkingin), Ágúst Ólafur Ágústsson, told Bladid. “The biggest part of that price is tariffs added by the state.”

“History tells us that it is not possible to control the public’s alcohol consumption with pricing set by the state and high alcohol prices in Iceland have not resulted in Icelanders drinking more sensibly,” Ágústsson continued.

“The policy on alcohol, the purpose of which has been limiting the public’s access to alcohol and maintaining higher prices, has become obsolete. I suggest that we adapt a new policy on alcohol, based on prevention rather than restriction,” Ágústsson concluded.

Director of Tourism Magnús Oddsson said high alcohol prices are not only caused by tariffs added by the state. “Reports have shown that the cause of high prices of alcohol in restaurants is a combination of tariffs and a high margin added by restaurant owners.”

“It is apparent if you compare the price of a beer in Vínbúdin [the state-run chain of liquor stores in Iceland] and a beer in a bar that proprietors have a higher profit margin on alcohol in this country compared to most other counties,” Oddsson explained.

Oddsson said it is well known that the high alcohol prices bother tourists who come to Iceland. “But the increasing numbers of tourists that come here show that other factors are more important when tourists choose their destination.”

Click here to read about high food prices in Iceland.

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