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Increase alcohol taxes - reduce the costs!

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ADCA Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia

1 7 Napier Close, Deakin, AC T 2600

PO Box 269, Wode n, AC T 2606

Increase alcohol taxes - reduce the costs!

Rhone: (06) 281 0686 Fax: (06) 281 0995

ACN 008 455 525

The Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) today released its 94/95 Federal Budget Submission calling on the government to introduce an alcohol levy targeting bulk wine, full strength beer and spirits. The proposed levy would increase the price difference between full and low strength alcohol products and provide additional funding to address alcohol related

problems in Australia.

The submission is partly based upon the very successful Northern Territory 'Living With Alcohol Program' where funds generated through a targeted alcohol levy have been used to effectively reduce drunkenness, accidents, injuries and deaths resulting from alcohol misuse.

According to Mr Crosbie, a targeted levy could take the form of an additional Federal tax on specific alcohol products. A cask of wine might attract a levy of 50 cents, a carton of beer 25 cents and a bottle of spirits 15 cents. Low alcohol products could be exempt from any levy. The total amount generated through such a levy would be in excess of $100 million, or three times the amount the Commonwealth currently allocates to reducing drug problems.

Mr Crosbie said; "The government allocates only two dollars per head directly to reducing drug problems in Australia. This is a totally inadequate response to the levels of violence, crime, injury, health problems, accidents, and deaths associated with alcohol and other drugs. ADCA's proposal starts to create the kind of funding base Australia needs to tackle drug

misuse and make the alcohol tax system fairer.1 '

Mr Crosbie was very critical of current alcohol taxes.

"Alcohol taxation in Australia is a mess. It makes no sense to anyone. The wine industry have somehow convinced people that their products are used more responsibly than beer or spirits. This ignores the fact that over 50% of all wine sold in Australia is bulk wine (cask wine) and because of the tax system, casks provide a very cheap way of getting drunk. Try telling alcohol and drug workers in Alice Springs or in the western suburbs of Melbourne and

Sydney that cask wine should be given tax exemptions in comparison with beer or spirits. It is ridiculous."

Mr Crosbie believes there is widespread support for any measures that will reduce alcohol misuse in Australia, and most people would support a levy if they knew the money generated was to be used to combat alcohol related problems.

Mr David Crosbie Phone: 06 281 0686 BH

Chief Executive Officer 06 251 6170 AH

018 48 6630 AH

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