By Andy Young

The federal minister for cities, Jamie Briggs has called on the government to replace the current alcohol taxation system with a flat tax rate.

Briggs, the member for Mayo which takes in the winemaking regions of McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills, says the current system is flawed.

The government is currently reviewing the system for alcohol taxation and is facing different calls from all sides of the industry as to the way forward.

Briggs said: "The problem is that the system is flawed and sends the wrong signal at a time when we are trying to grow the industry. It sends the wrong signal to people about whether they should be in the wine industry or not."

The Wine Equalisation Tax enables winemakers to claim up to $500,000 in rebates, but Briggs said the rebate encourages the production of low-value, high-volume wines.

He added that reforming the rebate would need to be a long process, with arrangements made that would help grape growers, and others in the industry to transition their businesses.

Last week senator Jacqui Lambie called on the government to make tax reforms that would benefit Australia's craft distillery industry.

The Shout Team

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

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