Nicola Roxon fails to answer simple questions.

Back when I blogged about the tax hike on pre mix alcoholic beverages, I wrote to Minister Roxon and asked her some simple questions;

Why are we taxing spirits so much more heavily than we do beer?

Why do we tax packaged beer at higher rates than draught beer?

Why do we tax wine on its value, rather than its alcohol content, like other alcoholic drinks?

Why don’t we tax “ready to drink” products on a sliding scale the same as packaged beer?

Doesn’t it make sense to encourage “ready to drink” makers to produce lower alcohol content drinks?

In her response, she fails to answer any of these questions, instead preferring to waffle on about all the wonderful things she’s doing to help with the alleged binge drinking problem. Basically, she has no answers.

One nugget of gold in her letter was her assertion that studies show that increasing tax on something decreases its consumption. Of all the stupid things she could have said, this must be the stupidest. What increasing the price does is convince people who CHOOSE to drink to drink less or stop completely. The people who are binge drinking are alcoholics, and are not going to stop drinking regardless of the price.

I think I’ll write back and see if she wants to answer my questions or just cite a bunch of PR BS again instead. It really makes me cranky when people won’t answer a simple question!

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