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AUSTRALIA: Wine tax campaign flops as elections near

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A campaign by Australian winemakers for consumer tax cuts to boost domestic sales has flopped.

With Saturday's federal (national) election only days away there has been only a token response from the opposition and silence from the government on the subject.

At the start of the campaign last month the Winemakers Federation of Australia launched a push for a reduction in the so-called WET tax on wine claiming the industry was overtaxed by A$87m (US$43.5m) a year with the government pocketing 25% of the retail price of a A$20 bottle of wine.

The opposition Labor Party promised to cut WET for wineries producing less than 50,000 litres a year. Its finance spokesman said this would benefit 80% of wineries, deliberately overlooking the fact that the industry is dominated by four producers who account for 85% of production.

The governing Liberal Party, and its coalitional partner the Nationals, has ignored the Federation entirely.

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

Wines & Spirits in Australia
The World Market for Wine 2001


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