Alcopop tax threatened by Libs, Greens

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 16th May 2008

The heavily publicised ‘alcopop’ tax is no certainty to be passed through the Senate, with both the Liberal and Greens parties indicating a lack of support for the legislation.

The bill, which Coca-Cola Amatil have claimed could cut sales in ready-to-drink (RTD) alcohol spirits by up to 10%, is expected to earn the government about $2 billion over the next four years. However, there has been criticism that the tax is nothing more than a revenue raiser with expectations of tax receipts by the government indicating they do not expect taxes to fall.

Federal Liberal Party leader Dr Brendan Nelson has said that the coalition will use their high senate numbers to block the RTD tax. “This is nothing more than a tax binge falsely presented to Australians as a health measure. We will oppose it,” he said.

In a further blow to the government Greens Party leader, Bob Brown, has indicated his party may also oppose the bill due to their belief that a greater solution needs to be created. “I think the (Rudd) government thinks we’re some sort of faction of the Labor Party,” Senator Brown told ABC Radio. “You need a package, you need public education … you need to remove the advertising.”

The coalition will lose their Senate majority on June 30 but they will still hold 37 out of the 76 seats. With the Greens holding five seats, any hopes by Labor of a victory in the Senate appear forlorn at this stage.