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Statement by the Hon. Lionel Murphy criticizing the announcement that certain wine companies proposed to increase the price of wine and some spirits



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STATEMENT BY THE HON. LIONEL MURPHY, Q .C .,

MINISTER FOR CUSTOMS & EXCISE '

The M i n i s t e r f o r Customs and E x c i s e today, c r i t i c i s e d

t h e a n n o u n c e m e n t ' t h a t c e r t a i n wine companies p r o p o s e d t o >

i n c r e a s e th e p r i c e o f wine and some, s p i r i t s .

The M i n i s t e r r e c a l l e d t h a t one o f t h e f i r s t a c t s /of

"•the p r e s e n t Government was t o remove t h e e x c i s e d u t y on w in e . .

" T h is had b e e n d o n e " , s a i d t h e M i n i s t e r , " f o l l o w i n g stro n g . __ . ...

r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s from t h e i n d u s t r y t h a t t h e i n c r e a s e d p r i c e , ·

a s a r e s u l t o f t h e e x c i s e d u t y , had m a t e r i a l l y a f f e c t e d s a l e s . "

■ -The Government was a n x i o u s t o a s s i s t th e i n d u s t r y and

had a b o l i s h e d t h e d u t y so t h a t p r i c e s c o u ld be r e d u c e d . I t

was e x p e c t e d t h a t t h e r e d u c t i o n i n p r i c e s would i n c r e a s e s a l e s

and so a s s i s t th e wine i n d u s t r y , i n c l u d i n g th e g r a p e g r o w e r s .

But b e f o r e t h e n e c e s s a r y l e g a l a c t i o n had been c o m p le te d , t h e * ·

i n d u s t r y h a d a n n o u n c e d t h e s e , n e w p r i c e i n c r e a s e s .

" I h a v e b e e n i n f o r m e d " , s a i d t h e M i n i s t e r , " t h a t i t h e

p r i c e w a s n o t r e d u c e d t o t h e f u l l e x t e n t o f t h e e x c i s e o n a l l

l i n e s , c o n t r a r y t o t h e p u r p o s e o f t h e G o v e r n m e n t ' s a c t i o n .

D e s p i l e t h e a s s i s t a n c e g i v e n b y t h e G o v e r n m e n t , t h e i n d u s t r y

n o w p r o p o s e d t o i n c r e a s e p r i c e s a l m o s t t o t h e e x t e n t o f t h e

e a r l i e r e x c i s e . r e d u c t i o n .

T h e M i n i s t e r c o m m e n t e d , " t h e i n d u s t r y s h o u l d n o t b e

s u r p r i s e d i f i t s a c t i o n e v o k e s a n a d v e r s e r e a c t i o n f r o m t h e

- p u b l i c . S u c h i n c r e a s e s m a y w e l l c o m e w i t h i n t h e p u r v i e w o f

t h e p r o p o s e d P r i c e s - J u s t i f i c a t i o n T r i b u n a l . " .