Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 3 Mar 2013.
With 70,000 people involved in alcohol-related disputes each year, at an estimated cost to emergency services of around $15 billion, we’re long overdue for decisive action and effective solutions to the problem of alcohol-related violence in our communities.
In 2010 the Henry tax review recommended taxing all alcoholic drinks based on the volume of alcohol they contain, at the rate applying to draught beer. But both federal and state governments have so far ruled out any such changes.
A leading public policy expert, Mark Kleiman from the University of California Los Angeles, said this week that raising the tax applicable to alcohol was the best way to tackle alcohol-related violence.
Higher alcohol taxes would not require police enforcement, but would help to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed by problem users, and put a “very modest burden” on moderate drinkers, while raising additional state revenue to fund emergency services.
Seems like an idea whose time has come.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.