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Oz Minister says tax levies will not combat binge drinking

The Australian Health Minister has hit out against claims that raising taxes on alcohol will cut consumption.

Peter Dutton
The Australian Health Minister Peter Dutton has said higher taxes on alcohol will not combat binge drinking

Peter Dutton recently said that although he would support raising tobacco taxes, he would not attempt to implement a similar hike for alcohol.

Discussions among Australian politicians have long centred on how to curb the country’s binge drinking culture, with the previous Rudd government imposing a so-called “alcopop tax”.

However, Dutton has told Australian media that consumption of spirits in fact increased following the implementation of the alcopop tax and that duty increases will not cut consumption.

This follows UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision this year to drop plans to legislate a minimum unit pricing for alcohol.

It was understood that the government initially backed a 45 pence per unit price in order to combat binge drinking and drink-related deaths.

However, ministers faced considerable opposition from other political parties and trade groups which claimed this move would unfairly affect responsible drinkers.

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