Alcohol Taxation makes no sense

Following up from Saturday’s post about changes to tax on pre mix drinks, I did a little research, and found that the tax rates on various drinks are apparently as follows (correct me if these are wrong)

Rates are dollars of tax per litre of alcohol content. Figures taken from dsica.com.au, read to drink figure from the news.com.au article previously mentioned.

Type of Beverage

Rate of Tax

Draught Beer, Low Strength

$6.63

Draught Beer, Mid Strength

$20.82

Draught Beer, Full Strength

$27.24

Packaged Beer, Low Strength

$33.21

Packaged Beer, Mid Strength

$38.70

Packaged Beer, Full Strength

$38.70

Ready to Drink

$67.00

Brandy

$61.21

Spirits

$65.56

Wine*

29%*
*Wine is taxed on value rather than volume.

This raises several questions; Firstly, why are spirits taxed so much more heavily than beer is? Why is packaged beer taxed much more heavily than draught beer? Why don’t we tax wine on the percentage of alcohol like everything else?

More importantly, why has the Rudd government decided to tax read to drink spirits so heavily across the board, instead of having a sliding scale as we have with beer?

I’ve written to Nicola Roxon and asked these very questions, and I’ll be reporting back when I hear from her.

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