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Coalition Curbs Child Drinking

Coalition Curbs Child Drinking, Promotes Safer Communities

The Labour Progressive Coalition Government is increasing the excise duty charged on some alcoholic beverages in order to promote safer communities by discouraging underage teenagers and children from misusing alcohol.

Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton introduced the Customs and Excise (Alcoholic Beverages) Amendment Bill, legislation that will raise the excise duty on alcoholic beverages that contain between 14% and 23% alcohol by volume.

"This is an important piece of legislation to address a serious challenge being faced by far too many New Zealand families," Jim Anderton said.

"The law change increases the excise duty on beverages that contain more than 14%, but not more than 23%, of alcohol by volume. The products that mainly fall into this category are the very cheap light spirits often used by young people," Jim Anderton said.

"The drinking habits of too many young New Zealanders are of great concern. Recent surveys have shown an increase in the level of heavy drinking amongst the young. This trend is both dangerous and unacceptable to our society and the Labour Progressive Government is committed to take steps to reverse it," Jim Anderton said.

Studies indicate that young people's purchases of alcohol are particularly sensitive to price and that excise duties have an important role to play in managing their consumption of alcohol.

The Progressive leader, who chairs the Ministerial Action Group on Alcohol and Drugs, introduced the new law in his capacity as Acting Minister of Customs.

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