The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, Australia’s leading non-partisan taxpayer advocacy organisation, & MyChoice Australia, its anti-nanny state affiliate, today condemned proposals to ban affordable alcohol through imposing a wine supertax, and to increase the tobacco excise by another 25%.
“Slugging lower income earners with both a wine supertax that will quadruple the price of cleanskins and boxed wine and also another 25% tobacco tax hike to make up a budget black hole caused by gross overspending is immoral and poor public policy” said Tim Andrews, Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance. “Like with all lifestyle taxes, these are highly regressive proposals that will hit poorest Australian families already struggling under a crushing tax burden.”
“The evidence is clear that a wine supertax won’t discourage problem drinking. This de facto ban on affordable alcohol will only hurt poorer families, and potentially fuel demand in illicit drugs.” continued Mr Andrews. “Similarly, the tobacco tax hike will fail to achieve its intended outcomes due to an increase in highly dangerous tobacco counterfeiting and smuggling: According to Delloitte, the 2009 25% tax hike on tobacco caused the illicit trade in tobacco products to jump 29%, resulting in $1.1 billion in foregone tobacco excise tax revenue.”
The Australian National Preventative Health Agency, which received over $40 million in taxpayer funding last financial year, has been the driving force behind these campaigns.
“The Australian National Preventative Health Agency is a radical activist lobby-group masquerading as a government agency” concluded Mr Andrews. “ANPHA’s has repeatedly demonstrated a flagrant disregard for people’s deliberate judgment in their campaign for government paternalism . Giving them an astronomical amount of tax dollars to lobby for an anti-choice agenda is a flagrant and unethical misuse of our taxes. Rather than paternalism masquerading as tax or public health policy, we desperately need a return to individual freedoms, personal responsibility and an end to the nanny state.”