OVERSEAS VISITORS: Tamsin Pape and Richard Manning from the UK enjoy the Bundaberg Rum Festival.
OVERSEAS VISITORS: Tamsin Pape and Richard Manning from the UK enjoy the Bundaberg Rum Festival. Paul Donaldson BUN151016RUM11

Is Bundy Rum too expensive?

BUNDABERG Rum - at risk of becoming a drop just for the rich - is at the centre of a political offensive to keep the iconic brand affordable for Aussie workers.

The international owner of the beloved booze is lobbying the Turnbull Government to give Australians a break from twice-yearly alcohol excise and overhaul the "unfair" tax arrangement.

The views of Diageo are shared by some crossbench Senators, who are urging the Government to fix the problem in the May Budget.

The price of a carton of Bundy & Cola is about $75, in five years it is projected to reach $89 and by the decade more than $105, if the twice-yearly excise remains at 2.6 per cent. Bundaberg Rum 700ml is about $38. In 10 years, it will be about $51.

Colleen Shields, Emma Coleman and Sarah Doak enjoy some Bundaberg Rum.
Colleen Shields, Emma Coleman and Sarah Doak enjoy some Bundaberg Rum. Jamie Hanson

The muddled tax system makes Australia one of the most expensive places in the world to buy a beer.

And apart from the twice-yearly tax increases, there's also unfairness built into the system.

Wine is taxed on sales value, so the Government pockets less from a cheap cask but more from a bottle of Grange, yet other alcohol is taxed based on its alcohol content.

Should the tax on Bundaberg Rum and other alcohol be lowered?

This poll ended on 25 April 2017.

Current Results

Yes, it is too high

75%

No, it should stay the same

25%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The 2010 Australia's Future Tax System Review, undertaken by then Treasury Secretary Ken Henry, recommend reforming the system to a single volumetric tax system.

Diageo public policy manager Jules Norton Selzer urged the Government to give customers a break.

 

"It's unfair for consumers to be slugged with tax increases twice a year,'' Mr Selzer said.

 

Bundaberg Rum Distillery
Bundaberg Rum Distillery

"Australians already pay some of the highest alcohol taxes in the world, adding a huge burden for our iconic and award-winning local industry, Bundaberg Rum.

"If these tax increases continue at this rate, a case of Bundy & Cola will be almost $90 in five years - putting it out of reach for many working Queenslanders.

"We encourage the Federal Government to fix the alcohol tax system once and for all - this will offer a fairer deal for consumers and support the growth of Australia's craft distilling industry."

Diageo wants all alcoholic products be taxed on the amount of alcohol they contain.

The Government did not comment by the time of print but Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm told The Sunday Mail Australians were being dudded.

"Nearly everyone agrees that introducing a single volumetric tax rate across all alcohol products is fairer and more sensible way of taxing alcohol."

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