The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has announced this week that from next month the rate on spirits will increase from $88.91 per litre of pure alcohol to $90.78.
The ATO raise the excise duty rates for alcohol twice a year to be in line with inflation. As such, the most recent change is set to be an increase of 2.1 percent.
Spirits and Cocktails Australia have called for tax increases to be halted for three years to help producers. They have also stated that the twice-yearly increases is likely to be passed onto consumers.
However, retail figures show that alcohol producers have had no problem making money during the coronavirus pandemic.
Reports show that the alcohol industry raked in $15.6 billion in retail sales in 2020, a 26.7 percent increase on 2019, according to a Roy Morgan analysis.
As such, a leading non-profit organisation, that is working to minimise alcohol-related harm, said that the request for a tax break for the alcohol industry was a “slap in the face” for taxpayers.
Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education chief executive, Caterina Giorgi, said that alcohol firms had profited from the pandemic while alcohol-related ambulance call-outs had increased.
“At a time when our healthcare system and hospitals are overwhelmed and when people are doing it really tough, it’s a slap in the face to us all to see alcohol corporations, who are making super profits, asking for more of taxpayers’ money,” Ms Giorgi said.