We are very aware of the old saying "never look a gift horse in the mouth" and were bought up to "be thankful for small mercies" so we need to state up front that we do appreciate the fact that the government faced up to the very unfair way excise is levied on alcohol.
The Government announced in the Budget that it will extend the excise refund scheme to domestic distillers. That scheme provides for a refund of up to 60 per cent of excise paid, up to $30,000 per financial year.
Are we excited? Not much.
Are we disappointed? A lot.
The scheme will not apply to your Aussie made gin, whisky, brandy, rum or vodka until 2017/18.
But it applies to beer right now!
How is that in any way logical or fair?
Why are you being financially punished because you want to drink a spirit instead of a beer?
For years the wine industry has received government support via the Wine Equalisation Tax and that has helped that industry to grow and export worldwide.
Australian distillers are consistently being recognised for the quality of their products yet are being charged excise at a higher rate than other beverages.
The delay in implementing a reform that the government obviously recognise as being needed and fair means that you can't expect your favourite nip to be cheaper anytime soon.
In fact there will be two INCREASES in the excise rate before the scheme commences for distilleries.
With an election looming it is the perfect time for you to tell your local member or candidate that the rebate scheme should start now so it applies to brewers and distillers equally and fairly.