By Ian Neubauer
A mobile billboard criticising last April’s 70 per cent RTD tax hike will confront Federal politicians as they arrive in Canberra this week after the summer recess.
Bearing the slogan ‘Unfair, Unworkable and Dishonest’, the billboard is an initiative of the Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia (DSICA). It will travel from Canberra Airport to Parliament House and around key dining precincts frequented by parliamentarians.
“The premise for the tax and its effectiveness is shrouded in misinformation and dishonesty,” said DSCIA spokesperson, Stephen Riden.
“It is simply not true that RTDs have exacerbated risky and high-risk drinking among young Australians. Nor has it reduced levels of binge drinking across any group in the community. This was never anything more than a tax grab masquerading as health policy.”
The Federal Government has until May to pass the RTD tax hike in the Senate. Failure to do so will require it to refund $150 million collected from the tax hike to distillers and bottlers of spirit-based products. However, DSICA has already stated its members would donate the monies to harm-prevention and treatment programs.