The 2018 Budget Policy Statement was released last Thursday. The Finance and Expenditure Committee is scheduled to meet this Wednesday and will consider calling for submissions and setting a deadline. In previous years, submissions have closed at the end of January.
The budget focuses on ensuring that the benefits of economic growth are received by all. As such, families are at the centre of the policy. To support the Budget priorities and complement the upcoming Ministerial Inquiry into mental health, Alcohol Healthwatch will be recommending that Section 79 of the Customs and Excise Act 1996 be amended to allow alcohol excise rates to be increased beyond inflation. Increases in alcohol excise taxes have been shown to reduce suicide rates and are estimated to have a net annual societal benefit of approximately $300+ million (of which $100m are averted health care costs). These cost savings could go a long way towards helping families in need. Feel free to contact us for more information.