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Wine excise removed

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Press Statement, E. G. Whitlam, 6 December 1972

The Prime Minister, Mr Gough Whitlam. announced tonight that the 25 cents a gallon excise on wine sales would be removed as from tomorrow. Mr Whitlam signed a remission of the excise under by-law late this afternoon. The promise for the removal of the excise was made in Mr Whitlam’s policy speech outlining the Labor platform for last Saturday’s election.

When the charge was originally imposed, a special provision was made to allow its remission under by-law. It was this provision used today to have the excise removed. Legislation therefore is unnecessary.

Mr Whitlam said the government would check to ensure that, with the removal of the duty, the benefit would be passed on to wine consumers. He added that, because some wine manufacturers paid duty in advance of actual sales, provision would be made for duty already paid on wine still in manufacturers’ hands to be refunded.

He said a regulation under the Excise Act would give effect to this as soon as possible. Officers of the Customs Department arc working now on the drafting of the regulation.