By Andrew Starke

The Federal Government’s $400 million a year tax grab from ready-to-drink (RTD) alcohol products has had no impact on the amount of alcohol that Australians drink, according to the Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia (DSICA).

The industry body responded to today’s Senate vote approving the RTD Excise Bill by calling it a ‘flawed tax dressed up as a health measure’.

“Sixteen months on, everyone knows this is a tax grab masquerading as health policy. It has failed to reduce alcohol misuse and instead slugs RTD drinkers an extra million dollars a day,” DSICA’s research and information manager, Stephen Riden, said.
“We congratulate the MPs and Senators who stood by their principles and voted against the tax hike for the second time. They have properly reflected the views of the Australian public,” he said.

“The most up-to-date sales data from independent analysts Nielsen Liquor Services reveals there has been virtually no change in overall alcohol consumption since the tax was introduced. Even the very small 0.2 percent reduction is far more likely to be a result of the economic downturn and people cutting back on their spending.
“Beer, cider and spirit sales continue to soar and RTDs are now showing double-digit growth. Nielsen analysts conclude that total alcohol sales are set for growth – yet the Government continues to paint the tax grab as a key plank of its national binge-drinking strategy.
“Sadly, politics have overruled common sense and community sentiment. We hope the Henry Review is not tainted by politics or prejudice and will recommend that alcohol products are taxed according to their alcohol content, not how it was manufactured.”

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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