As the Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia's (DSICA) Alco Tax Rip Off website claims Australians have spent an additional $145 million tax on pre-mixed drinks due to the federal government's recent tax increase, they've also noticed a major "alco-swap" occurring. The council said while sales of pre-mixed spirits are down, sales of straight spirits are up.
DSICA's Stephen Riden told ABC Radio "between April and June there was a 30 per cent decrease in the volume of alcohol sold in pre-mixed drinks but unfortunately a 46 per cent increase in the equivalent measure for bottled spirits." Family First's Victorian Senator Steve Fielding has been quoted in the Herald Sun saying "We have turned a drinking problem into a tax problem."
The federal government says the DSICA figures do not allow for normal seasonality in alcohol purchasing and show "the industry is prepared to selectively use data to protect their profits at the expense of young Australians."
Source: ABC Transcript, Herald Sun & The Shout.