ABA says raising alcohol taxes will not stop problem drinking
Source: The Shout
By Andy Young
A report published by the Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC), which includes recommendations to increase tax on alcohol, has been questioned by Alcohol Beverages Australia (ABA).
The AHPC report sets out 10 priority health actions to reach certain health targets for Australia’s population by 2025. The report said its 2017 priority actions are a “10 per cent increase on the current excise, and the consistent application of volume-based taxation”.
But the ABA has pointed out that 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.”