Price rises mainly due to changes in tax legislation

10/01/2014 15:00

The considerable price rises in 2013 were mainly caused by changes in tax legislation. The price of rolling tobacco and stamps increased most rapidly, whereas the price of telephones decreased most rapidly.

Price of rolling tobacco much higher in 2013

The price of rolling tobacco increased by nearly 16 percent in 2013, largely due to the higher excise duty rate introduced last year. On 1 January 2013, the excise duty on tobacco was raised. In the first months after the introduction, retailers still sold their old stocks, so it lasted several months before consumers paid the higher excise rate.

Top 5 most substantial price increases, 2013

Top 5 most substantial price increases, 2013

Insurance premiums much higher

In January 2013, insurance premiums were increased significantly. The insurance tax rate was raised from 9.7 to 21 percent. On average insurance premiums went up by nearly 8 percent. Premiums for fire and theft insurances were nearly 14 percent up. As the supplementary health insurance is exempt from insurance tax, the price increase for health insurances remained modest.

Price increases not solely due to changes in tax legislation

Mail and parcel services were in the top 5 of products affected most by last year’s price increases. On 1 January 2013, for example, the price of stamps was increased from 50 to 54 eurocents. In August, the price was increased further to 60 eurocents. The special price of stamps in December was also higher compared to previous years.

Telephones cheaper

The price of telephones was reduced by nearly 9 percent in 2013. Prices for home and garden maintenance services were also lowered as, since March 2013, the VAT rate for these services was temporarily reduced from 21 to 6 percent. Prices for overnight stays in accommodations were also reduced in 2013.

Top 5 products affected most by last year’s price increases, 2013

Top 5 products affected most by last year’s price increases, 2013

Julius Hage and Koen Link