Section 11: Taxes on specific goods and services
In addition to the broad-based GST, there is also a range of consumption or other indirect taxes levied on narrow bases, including excise collected by the Australian Government, and other taxes collected by the States. Products subject to these narrow-base taxes, are taxed relatively more heavily than other consumption goods.
The decision whether to tax some consumption goods more highly than others, and the optimal design of a particular tax, depends on the policy objective it is trying to achieve.
The current tax arrangements for beer, wine, spirits, tobacco and luxury cars reflect a range of competing policy goals. They exist in the context of other forms of regulation and the broader tax-transfer system.
Q11.1 Is it appropriate to use taxes on specific goods or services to influence individual consumption choices, and if so, what principles can be applied in designing the structure and rates of such taxes?
Q11.2 Can the competing potential objectives of alcohol taxation, including revenue raising, health policy and industry assistance, be resolved? What does this mean for the decision to tax alcohol more than other commodities?
Q11.3 What is the appropriate specific goal of taxing tobacco? Is it necessary to change the structure or rate of tobacco taxes?
Q11.4 If health and other social costs represent the principal rationale for specific taxes on alcohol and tobacco, is any purpose served in retaining duty free concessions for passenger importation of these items?
Q11.5 Are taxes on specific 'luxury' goods an effective way of making the tax system more progressive? If so, what principles should apply to the design and coverage of these taxes?
Q11.6 Should the tax system have a role in influencing the relative prices of different types of cars, including luxury cars and higher polluting cars, and if so on what basis? What does this mean for taxes on the purchase price of...