Release: Aussie Distillers Deserve Tax Relief

Release: Aussie Distillers Deserve Tax Relief

19 September 2019

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, a 75,000+ member national grassroots advocacy body representing the nation’s taxpayers, today called on the federal government to support businesses by cutting the exorbitant excise levied on spirits to help drive an innovative and world-class distilling industry.

“The Morrison government’s plans to extend the excise refund scheme to distillers and to boost its cap to $100,000 is welcome news, but doesn’t do enough to support our hardworking distillers or to make them competitive against global players who don’t have to deal with such a ridiculous and cruel tax burden.” said Satya Marar, ATA Director of Policy.

“Our distillers produce some of the best gins, whiskies and vodkas in the world. They need a fair tax system that is behind them. Not one that is holding them down.

“Even with the refund, Australian distillers will still pay an extremely high ‘withholding tax’ that makes it more difficult for them to invest, expand the business, produce newer or innovative products, or hire new staff. The only solution is to cut the excise rate significantly.

“It’s also cruel and hypocritical that the rate is indexed to inflation twice a year, yet the government won’t do the same for income tax brackets- thereby taking thousands of dollars more out of our pockets every year without an increase in our real wages through ‘bracket creep’.

“This really sends the message that when it comes to shaking us down for more of our hard-earned money, the government can be very innovative and agile indeed. But it’s our businesses and their workers who ultimately suffer at a time of stagnating growth across the economy.”

Satyajeet Marar