Submission to ANPHA consultation on minimum price for alcohol

FARE provided a submission to the Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) consultation into Exploring the public interest case for a minimum (floor) price for alcohol, recommending a staged approach to alcohol pricing and taxation policy reform which would reduce alcohol-related harms.

Recommendations

  1. Alcohol pricing policies should not be addressed in isolation and instead a comprehensive approach to alcohol pricing is needed that considers both alcohol taxation reform and minimum pricing policies.
  2. As part of the development of a minimum floor price for alcohol ANPHA should consider the:
    i. policy objectives of the Government in achieving alcohol pricing reform
    ii. implementation options for a minimum floor price in Australia
    iii. ideal rates for a minimum price to best influence behaviours and reduce alcohol-related harms.
  3. Introduce a staged approach to comprehensive alcohol pricing reform by:
    i. immediately replacing the WET with a volumetric rate of taxation
    ii. begin working with the state and territory governments to mandate the collection of alcohol sales data to be used in prioritising further reform
    iii. within one year, begin to address the current gaps in alcohol pricing policies
    iv. develop and implement a longer term plan for alcohol pricing reform in Australia.
  4. Ensure that a long term alcohol pricing policy addresses the principles identified in the submission, including:
    i. alcohol pricing must be applied according to the volume of alcohol within products and their potential to cause harm
    ii. the policy relevant social costs of alcohol consumption must be used to inform alcohol taxation rates and prices
    iii. alcohol pricing policies must minimise distortion that may encourage harmful consumption of alcohol
    iv. revenue collected from alcohol pricing policies should be used to pay for the costs incurred by Government to address alcohol-related harms
    v. alcohol pricing policies must ensure the cost of alcohol is relative to incomes and Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases
    vi. alcohol pricing policies must aim to increase the floor price of the cheapest alcohol products; vii. alcohol pricing policies must ensure harmful discounting by industry does not occur and minimise loopholes
    viii. alcohol pricing policies must be administratively efficient.

FARE supports policy reforms that contribute to a reduction in alcohol-related harms in Australia. Our policy work is informed by the evidence of what is most effective in reducing alcohol-related harms. We support the progression of population-based health measures, which take into consideration the far reaching and complex impacts of alcohol-related harms.

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