Consultations with Australia’s wine industry confirm on-going anger at the Government’s failure to consult over its proposed changes to the Wine Equalisation Tax Rebate.
In the 2016 Budget, the Turnbull Government announced two major changes to WET rebate arrangements. It plans to:
1. Reduce the rebate cap from $500,000 to $350,000
2. Declare only wine producers with a financial interest in a winery can claim the rebate
The first change is a revenue grab which will hit the bottom line of winemakers hard.
The second measure is sold as one designed to prevent rorting but will hit hard honest grape growers who sell wine under their own label produced by a contracted winery.
Like the backpacker tax, the Government has failed to consult and poor policy is the outcome.
It’s time for this Government to undertake some meaningful discussion with those who are the backbone of our wonderful wine industry.