Submission on measures introduced to restrict personal choice ‘for the individual’s own good’

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) provided a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics Inquiry into measures introduced to restrict personal choice ‘for the individual’s own good’, in particular, in response to Reference B which refers to “the sale and service of alcohol, including any impact on crime and the health, enjoyment and finances of drinkers and non-drinkers”.

FARE makes a total of eight recommendations for the Committee, outlining the need for the regulation of alcohol by governments and preventive health policies which save lives and protect people from harms that may incur from others.

Recommendations

  1. That the Senate Economic Reference Committee acknowledge in its Final Report that alcohol is a product that requires the regulation of its production, supply, sale and use.
  2. That the Senate Economics Reference Committee acknowledge in its Final Report that per capita alcohol consumption as a measure of alcohol harms across the community and that this overall level of alcohol consumption should be reduced.
  3. That the Senate Economics Reference Committee in its Final Report reconfirm Australia’s commitment to achieving the global target of at least ten per cent relative reduction in the harmful use of alcohol in Australia by the year 2025, in line with the global action plan target set by the World Health Organization.
  4. That the Senate Economics Reference Committee acknowledge in its Final Report that the prevention of alcohol harms must be a priority in Australia’s response to reducing the burden of chronic disease.
  5. That the Senate Economics Reference Committee recommend in its Final Report that the current alcohol taxation system be reformed to allow alcohol to be priced according to the volume of alcohol within a product and the potential of the product to cause harm.
  6. That the Senate Economics Reference Committee recommend in its Final Report that a proportion of the revenue collected through alcohol taxation be used to address the social harms caused by alcohol consumption in order to modify health behaviours and maximise the benefits to the community.
  7. That the Senate Economics Reference Committee recognise that the social harms caused by alcohol far outweigh the revenue that is currently collected by the Australian Government, through alcohol taxation.
  8. That the Senate Economics Reference Committee recognise that the Australian drinking culture is not the same as European countries, and the Final Report acknowledge that governments have a role to play in reducing alcohol harms.

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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