Alcopops tax to get green light in Senate

Posted by James Ferre on 22nd June 2009

The Federal Opposition has today confirmed that it will now support the controversial alcopops tax despite maintaining that it will not help fix the binge drinking issue.

The 70 per cent tax hike on alcopops was introduced last year but was voted down in the Senate in March. Since then a Bill has been passed to validate the tax raised prior to the Senate’s rejection, with the Bill being reintroduced today by Labor.

Opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton argued that the legislation is nothing more than a “tax grab” but said his party would now support it to ensure the deficit does not blow out anymore.

“In this dire budgetary context, the Coalition has decided it will not oppose these Bills,” he told reporters. “The Government has plunged us into record debt and the reality is that this is got to be paid for somehow … that’s the reason for our decision today.”

If the Bill was not passed in the Senate it would present the Labor Party with the double dissolution trigger needed to call an early election.