The Icelandic Directorate of Health warns against a legislative proposal for the abolition of the state’s monopoly on the selling of alcohol and the reduction of alcohol taxes.
Today, there is a state monopoly on the selling of alcohol in Iceland, but if the bill goes through, the sale of wine and beer will be allowed in supermarkets, mbl.is reports.
Furthermore, taxes on alcohol will be reduced. Seventeen MPs from the Independence Party, Progressive Party and the Social Democrats put the bill forward earlier this week and it has already generated fierce debate.
In its statement, the Directorate of Health points to various research indicating that a state monopoly reduces consumption of alcohol and the abuse that follows it. Likewise, high alcohol prices directly affect consumption patterns. In other words, the current policies of the state have resulted in fewer problems caused by alcohol abuse.
However, with the abolition of the monopoly access to alcohol will improve and consumption will consequently increase. Drops in prices due to reduction of alcohol taxes will boost consumption even further. The new proposal is therefore ill-advised.
Click here to read more about the proposal.