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Thursday, 14 November 2002
Page: 6424


Senator MURRAY (5:08 PM) —I move amendment (4) on sheet 2686:

(4) Page 8 (after line 11), at the end of Schedule 1, add:

Part 5—Amendments having effect on and from 1 July 2003

12 Schedule (subitem 2(A))

Omit the item, substitute:

(A)

Brandy

$57.17 per litre of alcohol

I will confess to the parliamentary secretary that I have put this in to niggle him, although I doubt it will have much niggling effect. But I really think that at the bottom of this tax concession for brandy there is a pork barrel somewhere. Can anyone explain to me, when a government is scrambling and anxious for every dollar—given the state of affairs in Australia and worldwide right now—why brandy is not taxed at the same rate as spirits? Spirits are spirits; alcohol is alcohol. Thirty per cent of brandy, which includes cognac, is imported, so we are giving a tax advantage to imported spirits over other imported spirits and over Australian spirits. It makes no sense whatsoever; it is an absolute nonsense. I doubt if this amendment is much more than a tickle in the ribs but I did put it in to niggle you and to tell you that I think it is a silly anomaly and that you should get rid of it.