By Ian Neubauer

The Federal Government has ushered in an increase in the excise for spirits and RTDs yesterday (Feb 2) despite a fall in the consumer price index (CPI) in the last quarter of 2008.

The excise on a 700ml bottle of spirits climbed 16 cents to $18.15, while the excise on a 375ml RTD with an ABV of 5 per cent or less has climbed 1 cent to $1.30, Fairfax reported.

The increase was made under a system of ‘automatic indexation’ that relies on CPI figures for the past six months, which rose 0.9 per cent, instead of the current figure, which shows a fall of 0.3 per cent.

The increase also applies but to cigarettes but not to beer or wine, which attract significantly less tax per quantity of pure alcohol than spirits and spirit-based products.

DSICA spokesperson Steven Riden said the increase highlights the imbalance in different taxes between beer, spirits and wine.

“We will be working through the Henry Taxation Review for a fairer and better system for alcohol taxation,” he said, referring to an independent consultation paper that recommended volumetric taxation for all categories of alcohol products.  

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The Shout Team

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

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