Government planning to use alcopops tax revenue to tackle obesity as well as alcohol abuse

Posted by James Ferre on 12th March 2009

The Rudd Government is planning to invest the money raised from the controversial alcopop tax for a number of initiatives beyond tackling alcohol abuse, including increasing focus on healthy eating.

Among the plans are intensive programs to support at-risk children achieve healthy weight and greater promotion of healthy eating in “children’s settings” – primarily at schools. The government is also likely to subsidise employers to structure healthy eating into the working day.

There will also be investment in social marketing, to promote healthy living messages, including campaigns targeted at reducing obesity and smoking, the Health Department advised.
The alcopops tax revenue is still up in the air, however, with the Senate to vote on the legislation next week. The Rudd Government needs the support of all crossbench Senators to get the Bill passed as the coalition has indicated they will try to vote it down. At this stage it looks like it may fail as Family First Senator Steve Fielding recently announced an intention to vote against the legislation.

The Federal Government is also due to announce their complete health strategy in June, which could have major ramifications for the food industry.