The Australian Greens today welcomed a draft report from the Australian National Preventative Health Agency (ANPHA), which recommends an overhaul of the way alcohol is taxed.
“The current alcohol taxation system is a dog's breakfast and is in dire need of an overhaul,” said Greens health spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale.
“The current taxation system creates a perverse incentive to produce cheap wine rather than quality product. The Greens have long stood with the public health community and some voices within the alcohol sector in recommending that wine be taxed according to alcohol rather than value.
“A so called ‘volumetric tax’ was supported by the Henry Tax review and is now backed by a draft report by the Australian National Preventative Health Agency. It’s a simple, consistent approach to taxation that will reduce harms from alcohol.
“This reform would impact on the cheapest cask wine, which can cost less than bottled water, and is a significant source of harm for those who are suffering the most at the hands of alcohol.
“Overhauling wine taxation would also be good for Australia's wine industry. It would drive production of quality product and improve Australia's international reputation, which has suffered in recent years.
"The exemption that exist for small wineries under the WET should continue under any new taxation regime.
“The Greens congratulate ANPHA on advancing the debate and providing such a valuable contribution to an important issue of public health.
“The only question left is: will the government listen to the evidence and take on the vested interests that profit from the status quo at the expense of vulnerable people.”
Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600