The goon show: How the tax system works to subsidise cheap wine and alcohol consumption
Unlike beer and spirits, which are taxed based on their alcohol content, wine is taxed on its wholesale value in Australia. As a result, cheap wine attracts far less tax than beer or spirits.
Per litre of alcohol, cheap wine attracts only $3 in tax. Bottled beer pays over ten times more ($35), premium wines pay $55, while spirits attract an alcohol excise of $80 per litre of alcohol.
Modelling in The Australia Institute report, The goon show: How the tax system works to subsidise cheap wine and alcohol consumption, shows that if wine were taxed in the same way as beer, an extra $1.4 billion in tax revenue would be raised.
At a time when governments claim to be getting serious about both budget deficits and alcohol-related harm, reforming how we tax wine should be a priority.