By Andrew Starke
The Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation (AER), an alcohol harm minimisation body, has welcomed the Henry Review recommendations on alcohol taxation reform, but said it is disappointed with the Federal Government’s response.
AER Director, David Crosbie, said after such definitive action last week around tobacco, it was concerning that alcohol had once again been taken off the agenda.
“We were surprised to see alcohol taxation ignored in the response to the Henry tax review – despite it being one of the Government’s stated priorities in the area of preventative health,” he said.
“Alcohol abuse is second only to smoking in the number of preventable deaths caused by substance misuse. It continues to cost our economy more than $15 billion each year.”
AER research claims 80 percent of Australians believe the nation has a national drinking problem and 85 percent want to see more action addressing the issues.
“The current system is grossly inequitable,” said Crosbie. “We do not want a massive increase in alcohol tax. However, as recommended by the Henry Review, we maintain the need for a fairer, volumetric alcohol tax system that taxes the alcohol content, not the product.”
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