Remember the good ol’ days when the two most horrifying words uttered in Australia ‑ ‘Beer Up!’ ‑ was restricted, once yearly, to the newspaper headlines after a federal budget?
Those days seem long gone.
Leviathan’s insatiable hunger for revenue, combined with the puritanical mission of Nanny Statists to punish drinkers for indulging in some ales, now means that tax hikes on alcohol are a regular occurrence.
Reports today indicate the federal government has increased excises on a slab of full strength beer by 29 cents, and by 11 cents for a case of light beer.
For 24 cans of full strength beer alone, the government hoovers up $15.63 in excise.
The taxman is hitting spirits even harder, with the tax on a 700ml bottle of spirits rising by 38 cents and even higher for a slab of ready‑to‑drink spirits (up 66 cents).
According to the Herald Sun, the ATO confiscates more than $20 in tax on every bottle of spirits, and $35 for a 24-can case of ready‑to‑drink spirits.
As they say in the classics, this conduct is downright un-Australian!
To reduce government paternalism, make the horrifying ‘Beer Up!’ headlines more of a relic of the past, and to give drinkers (especially those on lower incomes) a welcome dose of financial relief, let’s start cutting alcohol excises instead.