Australian Greens Senator and spokesperson for health Dr Richard Di Natale today criticised the Gillard government for taking alcohol tax reform off the agenda for the October tax forum.
“There is solid evidence showing that pricing signals lead to a real change in drinking behaviour. There is something wrong when you can buy wine for less than water or milk,” said Senator Di Natale.
“The Gillard government is ignoring the advice of the preventative health task force and Henry tax review, both of which recommended looking at a more sensible taxation regime for alcohol.”
Senator Di Natale said that both taxation experts and health experts are united on the need to discuss this issue.
“It’s not too late to put alcohol tax reform back on the agenda. An omission of alcohol tax from the tax forum will squander a great opportunity to bring together a variety of health and tax experts.”
Unfortunately, of the 230 people due to attend the tax forum, not one is a public health professional.
“Excluding public health professionals is a glaring omission given that achieving social outcomes such as improved health is one of the six key sessions at the forum,” said Senator Di Natale.
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