Mattoni CEO Criticizes Proposed VAT Increase on Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Mattoni 1873’s CEO, Ondřej Postránský, spoke out against the proposed increase in VAT on all non-alcoholic drinks from 15% to 21%. He argued that the proposed rationale for the tax increase, using single-use plastic packaging for non-alcoholic beverages, does not make sense.

Other foods are also packaged in single-use plastic packaging, yet they are not subject to a higher rate. Furthermore, flavored mineral waters contain much less sugar than many other sweetened foods in the government package at a reduced tax rate.

Postránský highlighted the potential negative impact of the VAT increase on consumers, as higher VAT will limit access to non-alcoholic beverages for people who want to responsibly enjoy a healthy and refreshing drinking regime, which is not in line with government goals to promote a healthy lifestyle. In addition, lower consumption can also lead to lower VAT revenue.

Mattoni 1873 is actively introducing its drinks in returnable packagings, such as glass bottles or KEG barrels. It has been offering Mattoni mineral water in a recyclable glass bottle with a volume of one liter since last year. The Ministry of the Environment is also preparing to introduce a deposit system, allowing PET material to be reused effectively from bottle to bottle.

Postránský sees the real problem in a completely different place and questions why all non-alcoholic beverages defined by law as food should be tax-exempt and fall under a higher VAT rate. He sees no reason to discriminate against this one food, some of which is sold in only slightly sweetened form, while the other is consumed naturally, without sugar.