A call to scrap the tax on light beer could incentivise consumption of this falling category, according to VicHealth chief executive Todd Harper in a Herald Sun article last week.
Harper has called for the tax on light beer to be immediately scrapped, also suggesting the decline in low alcohol beer consumption has potentially led to the increase in alcohol-related violence.
Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia (DSICA) has welcomed Harper’s call, which also highlights their concerns with the taxation of alcohol.
“Because of the different way taxes apply to spirits and beer, low-alcohol RTDs cannot be competitively priced against light beer. So there is no incentive for manufacturers to make them, nor for consumers to buy them,” DSICA’s Stephen Riden said.
“That was the situation before the 70 per cent tax hike last April and it is even worse now.”
The Henry Taxation Review into alcohol taxation, commissioned by the Federal Government, is due for release by the end of the year.
DSICA is arguing for a graduated volumetric tax system in its submission, which would see products taxed according to the level of alcohol they contain.
“It’s time for alcohol taxes to be fixed so that we don’t continue to create unintended social consequences. Now is the time to get this right, otherwise you’ll have a legacy of bad policy for years to come,” Riden said.
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