Alcopops Fizz…

This is a guest post from Scaper…

“The Coalition– has escaped a damaging Senate vote on the alcopops tax hike for another six weeks after time ran out for the government’s attempts to push through the bill.

On Monday, opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton announced that the Coalition would back the controversial 70 per cent excise increase on alcopops, in place since April last year but yet to be passed into law.”

Well, it certainly was a busy week for government business, was there anything positive achieved in both houses?

Ever since this tax was proposed I’ve had the belief that it was for revenue purposes, not to discourage the young from binge drinking but there seems to be evidence to the contrary.

“The government has promised that the measure will help reduce binge drinking among teenage girls, citing as a sign of its success figures showing a drop in the number of standard drinks consumed in the aftermath of the alcopops excise hike.”

So it appears that this measure is being effective or is it? There is no analytical evidence on the use of elicit drugs so we would like to believe that some are reducing their drinking capacity opposed to shifting their use.

Now I remember a while back that a health study concluded that consuming four standard drinks in one sitting constitutes binge drinking, so based on this and observance of people’s drinking habits indicate that a greater proportion of the drinkers in this country are bingers!

Maybe when our ambition to become a republic is realised we can rename the nation ‘Bingestralia’, and our national emblem could be a hop and a grape on a bucket?

I’ve made it known here that I have given up getting pissed and my observations since of television is that alcohol consumption is saturating this entertainment medium but is that where the real problem lies?

We would like to believe such but the reality is, children’s main influence is their parents that they observe getting pissed to their eyeballs at best on social occasions and at worst several times a week which they aspire to which is a deeply ingrained cultural issue that to be frank, there would have to be generational change that I do not see eventuating.

So, let us not kid ourselves that increasing excise is going to have much affect and until the cultural issues are attempted to be addressed this alcopop excise increase is nothing more than taxation equalisation.

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11 Responses

  1. There is no analytical evidence on the use of elicit drugs

    Do you mean ‘illicit’ drug usage? If so, might I point out that alcohol is not normally included in the ‘illicit’ category as its consumption is legal for those above a certain age.

    As for evidence of ‘illicit’ drug usage there are any number of studies here and overseas which include usage in the general population as well as adolescent partaking.

    But yes it is about taxation, in part at least, and the need to ‘fix’ an inherited problem

  2. …the reality is, children’s main influence is their parents that they observe getting pissed to their eyeballs at best on social occasions and at worst several times a week…

    While I could disagree (my children having never seen me with more than a single drink in me) – I know that is missing the point and (from my own observations) frankly untrue.

    Having observed my neighbours & the activities at certian “compulsory” social gatherings; I would have to agree that this is exactly the behaviour I see around me. When you see people going to family-friendly lunch-time social occasion (with children in tow) and they need to know who is going to be the designated driver – I know Scaper is telling truth.

    That said, having seen the drinks in hand when groups of teenage girls go down to the park to drink both before & after the tax hike – I do believe that this “tax hike” will bring down the amount of alcohol consumed by the “casual tipplers”. People who seriously want to get shattered can always find some swill to do it with, but the young girls just out to have fun will be less likely to go overboard as their favoured drinks are harder to afford.

  3. Removing the Marxian spin, the idea of a relationship between base and superstructure might be useful as a tool of analysis for ‘binge culture’; both (over-)consumption of alcohol and thoughts had and not-had about (over-)consumption of alcohol thereby change in relation to and with each other. It’s not an either/or event situation, but a dialectical process over time, perhaps.

    At the very least, the provisioning of an ‘alcopops excise’ raises public awareness of the broader issues involved for an ongoing public discussion concerning the health and socio-cultural effects of (ir)responsible alcohol consumption and sales patterns; even among parents and their progeny.

  4. From The German ideology

    The production of ideas, concepts and consciousness is first of all directly interwoven with the material intercourse of man, the language of real life. Conceiving, thinking, the spiritual intercourse of men, appear here as the direct efflux of men’s material behaviour… we do not proceed from what men say, imagine, conceive, nor from men as described, thought of, imagined, conceived, in order to arrive at corporeal man; rather we proceed from the really active man… Consciousness does not determine life: life determines consciousness

    The notion that life determines consciousness and that base determines superstructure are always a rich source for debate but clearly the notion that ‘determines’ means ‘completely cause or produce’ goes too far. Big ‘influence’ for sure, but determine in any simplistic way is simply not on.

    Also to believe that ‘binge drinking’ is a recent development, is to be misguided because overindulgence has a long history. The Romans, for example, saw the Germans of their time as being over the top because they did not dilute their wine with water as they did. Britain in the 18th Century was characterised by a craze for Gin. And so on.

    Indeed ‘moral panics’ are a feature of all ages.

  5. ‘but the young girls just out to have fun will be less likely to go overboard as their favoured drinks are harder to afford.”
    That’s naive , they will find a way.( “young girls” only?).This reeks of political and revenue expedience, it’s a $ type of non probity applied to a target.If they (the incumbents) would proclaim a ban on the so called ‘drinks’ and also cause harsh and implicit law to ‘protect’ the so called users , why haven’t they done it by the same nature that applies to narcotics, Oh, it’s legal and it’s Treasury friendly, better make an effort at outrage but demur at actual action., nicotine, being an excellent example , outrage there eh, why even Obama is cutting down ;),on the smokes, it only causes about thirty thousand deaths a year and untold suffering by ten times that (Daddy/Mummy why don’t you smoke in the house?), ah, revenue little one, the Government needs me, so doe’s BT.

    All works for ‘grass’ ,’cocaine’ ‘crack” (I don’t know all the ‘stuff’), and ain’t that in control?why only about seventy % of related crime is caused my such,and haven’t the elected powers world wide got that under control(maybe back “revenue raising” pocket).
    This has been going on for , in various ways, for hundreds of years, the real danger and community cost, is nicotine ,banned,as it should be, (and I smoked for many years, and loved it) and booze as a thought, (I’m a home brewer so it takes time and love to get the ‘right’ brew, I’ll never find it!),
    ( I saw the other day a very irate mother walking with her child to a car, she was saying to the child ‘your antics are disgusting’ and gave the angel a wack as he got in the car, and I (saw the antics) wished she’d given him a couple for me, she broke the law!).

  6. That’s naive , they will find a way.

    Yes, as I said, anyone who really wants to get shattered will drink whatever swill they can get their hands on. That doesn’t mean we should make it easy for those who are not dead set on wiping themselves out.

    And yes, young women (teenage & twenties) were/are the target for alco-pops. And they were the ones I personally have noticed drinking them more than other groups.

  7. “Indeed ‘moral panics’ are a feature of all ages.”

    Says it all really.

  8. And they were the ones I personally have noticed drinking them more than other groups.

    Good to hear you lurk around groups, keeps the public informed.

  9. No, Lang – I simply keep my eyes open. It’s called being observant… Try it sometime – it’s amazing what you can pick up.

  10. scaper … the data indicates a drop in overall spirit consumption of around 8%. There is clearly some substitution occurring but the measure seems to be having some positive effects. Whether it has shifted people to illicit drugs is debatable; pills were generally a cheaper way to get off your head before the increase so I think any increase is probably questionable.

    As I have repeatedly stated though, I have no prob with this as a revenue issue particularly when it rectified a tax loophole. I do think the government should have pushed this aspect first though with the health impacts being a positive consequence.

  11. “As I have repeatedly stated though, I have no prob with this as a revenue issue particularly when it rectified a tax loophole. I do think the government should have pushed this aspect first though with the health impacts being a positive consequence.”

    Dave, most people would not have had a problem with the equalisation issue if it was explained as such, not under the guise that the government was supposedly acting on!

    I object to these tactics and also the nanny state mentality being trotted out.

    Take this four drink binge issue…to me it is a more about the time frame, when I was drinking I consumed about eight drinks at least a day and hit it harder on weekends and festive occasions but when I drank those eight drinks it was over a six or seven hour period…is that binge drinking?

    I remember years ago a study came out that if you have a drink everyday you are classified as an alcoholic, that is crap!

    Actually I don’t see much difference out there in drinking habits to when I was young apart from the trading hours increased and the media using the issue to fill news space.

    The government can raise the excise by another 50% and the culture will just go underground as has been proven in the past and is happening to a degree now.

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