AUS: CCA predicts fall in alcohol sales following tax hike
Coca-Cola Amatil is expecting a 5-10% reduction in sales of alcoholic beverage drinks following the government's tax hike on RTDs, the company's CEO told reporters today (15 May).
Speaking after the company's Annual General Meeting, Terry Davis told reporters CCA sits at the top end of the revenue of the alcoholic drinks sector, and the bottom end would be hardest hit by the 70% lift in excise on ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages - bringing them into line with unmixed spirits and closing a loophole created when the GST was introduced in 2000.
Terry told reporters the increase tax was "totally unexpected" with no consultation with industry and said the company would approach the government next week as "immediate discussions were needed" in order to understand its main objective.
"If their objective is to stop binge drinking, which we fully support, then that is not going to do that," he was quoted saying by the news agency Asia Pulse. "It is exactly the reverse. It will encourage younger adults to buy spirits and then mix their own."
Terry said the government must increase the tax on cask wine and beer, or bring the tax back on alcoholic beverage drinks if it is serious about stopping binge drinking.
The federal opposition has hinted it will use its Senate majority to block the tax hike.
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