In this week’s instalment of citizen journalism, Alepat Taylor business development manager, Bob Withers, compares the Government’s war against ‘binge drinking’ to its tax binge on the liquor industry.
“I regularly hear and read of the concerns of certain aspects of Governments and also of groups and organisations regarding alcohol, plus this constant barrage about binge drinking.
But let us not forget that alcohol is a perfectly legal commodity that is excessively taxed. With the new CPI increase of 2.8 per cent effective August 1, the duties and GST for an average bottle of spirits that retails at $28.00 will now earn the Government $19.35 in duties plus $2.55 in GST, coming to a total of $21.89 per bottle.
I do not hear groups commenting about this, but I do hear that ‘some’ want to raise these taxes and duties even higher. I cannot understand why they are not yet arguing for a fresh-air tax!
Governments are also responsible for issuing liquor licenses and the ever-increasing number of licenses issued and the extended trading hours that are in operation (very much appreciated by late and night shift workers, by the way). But for the ongoing troublesome areas, a larger police presence is required, possibly to clean the area up and then move on.
There are many reasons why people go out to enjoy a drink, or just stay at home with family or friends (the ever increasing interest rates and costs of living are reason enough). But just let the majority who wish to enjoy a drink, for whatever reason they choose, to enjoy without this constant hypocritical anti-alcohol campaign.
If someone chooses not to drink then that is their prerogative and freedom of choice. But in a democracy (which we are losing fast), rules and regulations must be based on the will of the majority.”