Taxes on alcohol, high-sugar and tobacco hitting the poor
TAXES on alcohol, high-sugar products and tobacco are having "unintended consequences" and hitting low income earners the hardest, new paper has argued.
The paper, from market advocates the Institute of Public Affairs, has argued against what it called "nanny state behavioural taxes" on products including alcohol.
Despite the growing debate for a per unit tax on alcohol, report author Aaron Lane said such taxes were not achieving their goals.
He said taxes on tobacco, alcohol and "fat taxes" interfered with people's rights to "make their own choices about their own consumption".
"For alcohol, additional taxes tend to change the behaviour of the average drinker while it does little or nothing to change the behaviour of the heavy drinker," he said.
"This paper outlines that the experience with 'fat taxes' is no better.
"The short-lived Danish fat tax did little to change consumer behaviour and cut waistlines, but did distort consumer behaviour by importing products to get around the pointless tax."
Despite rises in tobacco excises being attributed to falls in smoking rates in Australia, Mr Lane instead argued it was pushing people towards "counterfeit products".
However, the recently-formed Queensland Coalition for Action on Alcohol has argued that restricting the affordability of alcohol can reduce excess consumption.
The group has created an online petition calling for a raft of changes to alcohol policy in Queensland, including stopping the service of shots and high alcohol content drinks after a certain time.