Government outlines plan to reintroduce alcopops tax

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 15th April 2009

The Federal Government has today announced that the controversial alcopops tax legislation will be reintroduced to Parliament in May.

Speaking at a press conference Health Minister Nicola Roxon and Treasurer Wayne Swan advised that new legislation would also be brought in to validate the tax that has already been collected, ensuring that distillers will not receive a refund.

The controversial tax was first introduced in April last year, with alcopop taxes rising 70 per cent before legislation had been passed in the Senate. The Bill was then blocked last month when Senator Steve Fielding sided with the Opposition after his demands were not met regarding the restriction of alcohol advertising during daytime sports broadcasts.

Ms Roxon advised that the attempt to resurrect the legislation would first involve introducing a Bill to validate revenue collected between April 27, 2008 and May 13, 2009. Then, they will produce a new tax proposal, which would apply from May 14.

Minister Roxon indicated that the new tariff proposal would be unchanged from last year, which means that the 70 per cent tax will be added to alcopops on May 14 and they will once again have one year to validate the legislation.

She added that the Bill validating the already collected revenue is expected to pass, while she maintained an ongoing dialogue with minor parties regarding the new tax legislation.

“I’ve already had discussions with the minor parties and will continue to over the coming weeks,” she reported.

The Greens have since outlined their support for both pieces of legislation, while Senator Fielding and the Opposition – who voted down the previous Bill – have both suggested they will support legislation for validation but not the tax itself.