New figures released from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare this week could provide further ammunition in the industry debate against the RTD tax rise introduced in April.

The 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey has revealed excessive consumption among teens is in decline, with RTDs overtaken by other alcohol categories as the preferred drink among young people identified as drinking at risky long-term levels.

Interestingly, RTDs showed as the top pick for 14 to 19 year-olds who stay within long-term safe drinking limits.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon has defended the RTD tax increase on the back of the new figures, saying they know young people prefer to drink sweeter style “alcopops” and reiterated the Government’s determination to close the excise loophole.

The Federal Government has until April to enact the regulations in Parliament to support the excise increase.

The Shout Team

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

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