Raising alcohol taxes not the answer to reducing harms

29th November 2016

The alcohol beverage industry has questioned an Australian Health Policy Collaboration proposal to reduce alcohol harm by implementing a volumetric tax on alcohol products, saying raising the price of drinks does not target alcohol misuse.

Alcohol Beverages Australia Executive Director Fergus Taylor said Australian drinkers already pay some of the highest levels of alcohol tax in the world, and increasing the $6 billion Australians are taxed each year will not stop problem drinkers.

“Evidence shows that increasing alcohol taxes reduces consumption by moderate drinkers, far more than it influences heavier drinkers,” Mr Taylor said.

“There is no simple solution to the problem of alcohol abuse. If people have a drinking problem, they will get access to alcohol no matter how much it costs.

“Harmful consumption should be dealt with by helping those affected, not by forcing a wholesale price increase on the vast majority of people who are responsible drinkers.

“The alcohol industry works hard to promote responsible drinking and supports the use of education and tailored solutions that target alcohol misuse. Raising the cost of drinks will not achieve this objective.”

Alcohol Beverages Australia is the peak industry body created to highlight the positive social, cultural and economic contribution of alcohol beverages in Australia, and promoting, explaining and defending the legitimate rights of the industry and the nearly 14 million Australians who drink responsibly.

ENDS

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