Hunter health economics researcher to seek alcohol tax reform

Sep 28 2011

HMRI Health Research Economist, Professor Chris Doran, will join other leading health and medical experts at an Alcohol Tax Forum in Canberra tomorrow to urge the Australian Government to put alcohol taxation on the agenda at the October Tax Forum.

Professor Doran will present his findings on alcohol tax modelling at the forum that has the potential to generate an extra $1.5 billion in taxation revenue while reducing the harm caused by excessive and inappropriate levels of alcohol consumption.

“It is disappointing that the Federal Government has reneged on previous commitments to include public health representation on the Tax Forum agenda,” he said. “There is currently no prospect of alcohol tax issues being addressed at the tax forum, despite it being a prime opportunity to consider an alternate tax base.”

The Henry Tax Review called for a review of alcohol taxation, describing current arrangements as inconsistent. The Treasurer has indicated that alcohol taxation will not be on the agenda and there will not be representation at the Tax Forum from health or public health experts.

“Our research as assessed both the economic and health impacts of the alternate taxation models”.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) President has joined with the CEO of the Cancer Council, and the Co-Chairs of the National Alliance for Action on Alcohol to urge the Government to put alcohol taxation on the agenda at the Forum.

The Alcohol Tax Forum, organised by the National Alliance for Action on Alcohol, will be held at AMA House in Canberra from 10am to 1pm on Wednesday, 28 September.

HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.