By Ian Neubauer
The Australian Drug Foundation (ADF) has accused the liquor industry of misleading the public for releasing data that shows the RTD tax hike is encouraging straight spirit sales.
ADF spokesperson Geoff Munro said data that shows RTDs sales have declined 30 per cent while spirits sales have increased 46 per cent over the last two months is inconclusive and does not prove the tax hike has failed to address excessive alcohol consumption among young people.
"The industry is being misleading. Increasing taxes is a proven and effective method of decreasing sales of alcohol to young people. There is no proof that subsequent spirit sales are to underage drinkers rather than adults who also purchased RTDs,” Munro said.
“As many RTD drinkers are adults they may now be buying bottled spirits. The real effect of any tax increase won’t be known for at least 12 months," he said.
Munro’s comments were countered by a NSW liquor retailer who today supplied TheShout with photographic evidence that showed the RTD tax hike was encouraging young drinkers to buy straight spirits.
“They have certainly switched over to spirits and it’s not doing us any good,” said Cellarbrations Thirlmere proprietor, Brett Hallgarth. “And we don’t sell liquor to underage people.”
Hallgarth also objected to comments made by Treasurer Wayne Swan and Health Minister Nicola Roxon, who said the increase in straight spirits sales were the result of seasonal fluctuations.
“It’s bulls***t about seasonal fluctuations. Beer drinkers are beer drinkers. Wine drinkers are wine drinkers and spirit drinkers are spirit drinkers. People don’t switch drinkgs between seasons,” he said.
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