By Amelia Ball
It’s been a huge week for the industry as trade members adjust to the shock tax hike on Ready to Drink products (RTDs) that came into effect on Sunday.
The isolated tax change has significantly raised prices for all premixed spirit drinks, with retailers feeling the pinch since the excise rose from $39.36 to $66.67 per litre.
Together with the addition of GST and margins, some RTD six-pack prices are rising by up to $5 in-store, while cartons are jumping by around $20.
CEO of the Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA), Terry Mott, said retailers will not be able to absorb the price increases and he has no doubt the move will distort the market.
“People will move back into full-strength bottled spirits and other products, and we don’t expect it will have any impact on the alleged reason for doing it,” he said.
“The rationale behind this is tax, and the evidence that we’re aware of does not support this move.”
Mott was part of the collective meeting on the issue between the National Alcohol Beverage Industries Council (NABIC) and the Federal Government in Canberra yesterday.
“We have been able to establish dialogue with government, which we had not been able to do in the preceding months since the election, and we’re trying to get the government to look at the real facts rather than the hype,” he said.
Mott said one key concern was the lack of consultation prior to the change, but that NABIC now has a commitment for ongoing consultation from the government and will continue to communicate the industry’s positive initiatives.
The RTD tax hike coincides with a number of key industry-related enquiries now under review, including the taxation of alcoholic beverages.