alec wagstaff

Spirits and Cocktails Australia CEO Alec Wagstaff

Spirits and Cocktails Australia put a call out to candidates in the recent Braddon by-election to support a freeze on Australia’s six-monthly tax increase on spirits, calling it discriminatory.

CEO Alec Wagstaff said the continual tax increase was unfair to both spirit drinkers and the burgeoning distilling industry in Tasmania.

“The issue is particularly severe in Braddon, where residents tend to choose pre-mixed drinks over beer at a higher rate than those in other parts of Australia,” Mr Wagstaff said.

“The current system is complex and unfair and there is no clear reason why those who choose a rum and coke over a can of beer should be hit with double the tax.

“The ever increasing spirits tax also runs the risk of hampering the development of a growing, world class industry in Tasmania.

“Businesses like Hellyer’s Road Distillery and Southern Wild Distillery are leading the way for industry growth in the region, but with distillers paying almost twice as much tax as beer brewers it puts our market leaders on the back foot.”

A person drinking a standard can of beer will pay $0.67 in excise, while those who choose a pre-mixed can of rum and cola will have to fork out $1.48 in tax.

The second excise increase for the year came into effect on August 1.