Ahh, budget night, a night that has traditionally, for me, been an excuse for some solo TV watching complete with a cold beer. But not last night. Last night I didn’t watch any of the coverage until after NCIS* and Lie to Me**. I figured forensic crime investigations and a show examining honesty would be more interesting viewing than forensic accounting and a show full of lies.
But, I have been pretty interested in the whole alcopops debacle – which would most certainly be the most trivial issue to trigger a double dissolution ever. Some alcopops companies found a loophole and started brewing pre-mix drinks with beer as the alcoholic base, circumventing the tax. So now, the Government, in Budget Papers number 2, have promised to ensure that beer remains bitter… thanks to the SMH’s Annabel Crabb for the hot tip…
“The Government will alter the taxation definitions of beer and wine to ensure that beer and wine‑based products that attempt to mimic spirit based products are taxed as a spirit product, with effect from 1 July 2009. This measure has an ongoing gain to revenue which is estimated to be $125 million over the forward estimates period.
The definition of beer will be changed to ensure that beer has a certain level of bitterness, and to clarify that the addition of sugar, artificial sweeteners and spirits may result in the resultant product being taxed as a spirit based product.
The definition of grape wine products will be changed to exclude products that add the flavour of any alcoholic beverage, other than wine. Other changes to the definition of grape wine products will act to provide certainty as to the circumstances where alcohol can be added to a grape wine product.”
* Why can’t NCIS get corpses not to breathe during their autopsy scenes?
** I am fascinated by this show and the nuanced expressions of deception and emotions, provided it’s accurate and not a complete work of fiction…