By Andy Young
The managing director of Brown-Forman in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, Michael McShane has told TheShout that he believes positive solutions can be found to Australia’s alcohol beverage tax system.
Although he doesn’t believe that major changes will be announced in next week’s Federal Budget, McShane said that reform can help with long-term investment and innovation in Australia’s alcohol industry.
McShane (pictured) told TheShout: “I don’t expect any announcements on alcohol beverage tax reform in the Budget, other than some minor changes that have been previously alluded to by the government.”
He added: “The beverage alcohol market in Australia is a vibrant and innovative industry that employs tens of thousands of Australians across the country, in all sectors – beer, wine and spirits. While tax is an essential element of a mature economy we are very supportive of a legislative framework that encourages innovation and positive economic outcomes.
“Sadly our tax system contains over 14 different tax rates depending on the type of drink, the size of container and how much alcohol is contained in it. We believe that a review of our tax system is needed.
“Of course any discussion on tax always elicits strong views and with our industry facing many challenges we believe solutions can be found which can meet the particular needs of all participants while ensuring an environment that provides for long term investment and innovation opportunity.”
The government is currently reviewing the alcohol tax system, having called for submissions last year as part of a discussion paper on tax reform.