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Sherry tax argument falls flat

Sherry tax argument falls flat

The argument presented by the Government when ramming through the new 'sherry tax' is on increasingly thin ground, according to National Party Clevedon MP Judith Collins.

"When Jim Anderton brought the tax increases to Parliament he told the country it was designed to 'promote safer communities by discouraging underage teenagers and children from misusing alcohol'.

"But now the Hospitality Association says if that was the target, the 'tax' is missing its mark," says Mrs Collins.

"The Association's chief executive, Bruce Robertson, now says youth drinkers are turning to 'higher octane' spirits to get 'more bang for their buck'.

"If I was being charitable I might say the Government has made an embarrasing mistake, that the older sherry and port drinkers are paying for.

"But it's now becoming increasingly clear that this new excise tax was a blatant revenue grab, with little or nothing to do with youth drinking," Mrs Collins says.

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