Retail Drinks Australia has welcomed some of the measures announced in the Federal Budget earlier this week, but has said the Budget does not go far enough in helping small businesses to manage the pressures of the current economic climate.

The Government laid out its plans for a Future Made in Australia, which it said is about attracting and enabling investment building a stronger as well as building a stronger, more diversified and more resilient economy.

Retail Drinks CEO Michael Waters said the association welcomes various measures in the Budget which are aimed at assisting businesses, including those in the retail liquor industry.

But, he told The Shout: “Whilst the announcement of electricity rebates and the extension of the instant asset write-off  are welcome, retail liquor businesses, like many others, are facing enormous challenges due to the impact of inflation and reduced consumer spending.  

“Whether it be in the form of increased operational costs or the costs involving in holding a liquor licence, retail liquor businesses are under extraordinary pressure in the current climate and the Commonwealth Budget does not go nearly far enough in alleviating this pressure.”

The Budget also laid out details of funding for a national, economy-wide Digital ID system, which the Government said will provide Australians with a voluntary, secure, convenient, and inclusive way of verifying their identity online.

Wates said: “We also note the significant investment of a further $288.1m to the digital identity scheme over the next four years.

“Retail Drinks has been significantly involved in the development of the legislation surrounding the Digital ID from the perspective of the online liquor retailing sector and we look forward to working with the Commonwealth Government on the continued development of this scheme to ensure that it is a fit-for-purpose and affordable solution for online liquor retailers.”

The Budget also came under criticism from Australia’s beer, wine and spirits producers, who described it as misguided and a missed opportunity.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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