By Ian Neubauer
The Liberal Party’s front bench has decided to oppose the RTD tax hike in the Senate, forcing the Federal Government to rely on the support of minor parties to see the bil formalised into law.
“The Liberal party is lower-taxing and therefore we shouldn’t support higher taxes,” Deputy Opposition Leader, Julie Bishop, told The Australian.“We shouldn’t be seen to be supporting tax increases when the Labor Party inherited a $20 billion-plus surplus.”
The decision will force Prime Minister Rudd to make concessions to crossbenchers like Family First’s Senator Steve Fielding, independent ‘anti-pokie’ Senator Nick Xenophon and five senators from the Greens party or see the tax hike reversed.
Senators Fielding and Xenophon expressed doubt for the tax hike following the release of sales data last month that showed the hike had led to substitution with straight spirits and inadvertently increased the amount of pure alcohol sold by 10 per cent.
A spokesperson for the Greens said today (August 27) the party was yet to decide on how it would vote on the RTD tax hike.
“The situation is we are yet decide on that bill. We will be finalising it over the next week,” the spokesperson said. “We are in favour of a wide-ranging approach to tackling alcohol abuse and we are interested in the idea of an advertising ban as well.”
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