Alcohol Rehab group presses for Wine Tax Reforms

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 6th September 2011

The non-profit Alcohol Education & Rehabilitation Foundation (AER Foundation) today presented a report to the Australian Government calling for urgent reform of taxes on wine in Australia.

The report “Alcohol Taxation Reform – Starting with the Wine Equalisation Tax”, was produced by leading economic consultants the Allen Consulting Group, commissioned by the AER Foundation.

The AER Foundation report claims that Federal Government would earn an extra $1.5 billion by applying similar tax rates to wine as it does beer. Such a reform, according to the AER Foundation, would reduce the consumption of alcohol by between four and 16 million litres per year, lessening the likelihood of costly alcohol-related diseases and social problems.

AER Foundation Chief Executive, Michael Thorn said, “The current tax arrangement doesn’t make economic sense, it doesn’t make sense for the health of Australians, and it doesn’t make sense for the wine industry.

“Allen’s report points out that targeted reform can put a stop to the current taxation arrangements that punish the domestic industry for producing quality wines and domestic patrons from consuming them,” Mr Thorn said.

“The Treasurer is using the wine glut as an excuse to avoid reforming the tax system, when this is precisely what is needed to resolve the glut. The upcoming Tax Forum provides the Government with an opportunity to address both the bad tax and industry problems associated with the oversupply of cheap, poor-quality wines.”

The Australian tax summit will take place on 4 – 5 October at Parliament House, in Canberra.