Double Alcohol New Zealand Tax, Say Academics

August 16, 2018 Taxation in New Zealand

Alcohol taxes in New ZealandWELLINGTON – Heavy drinkers and alcoholics need to pay more tax to cover the costs they cause New Zealand.

On August 15th the capital of New Zealand, Wellington, played host to a conference organized by Alcohol Action and the Massey University’s Shore and Whariki Research Centre, where several academics and experts called for an increase to the rate of alcohol taxes in the country.

It was claimed that alcohol harm costs the country as much as NZD 7.85 billion each year, in the form of factors such as unemployment, labour losses, costs to the health system, car crashes, accidents, and other health problems associated with alcohol consumption.

In New Zealand approximately 20 per cent of drinkers are classed as light drinkers, and 60 per cent are classified as moderate drinkers, with the remainder being classed as heavy drinkers.

However, while heavy drinkers make up a relatively small portion of drinkers, they account for about 75 per cent of all sales of alcohol.

Among the presenters, the Australian economist Dr John Marsden, suggested that the taxes applied to the sale of alcohol need to rise.

Further, he said that taxes need to rise significantly, and maybe even doubled.

He clarified that the tax would not be aimed at eradicating drinking, but simply reducing the amount that people drunk in a single session.