Cider Australia has called on the Federal Government to refocus its Wine Equalisation Tax. In Australia, the WET tax is designed to help small local producers compete against the big players in the market. This is a tax of 29% of the wholesale value of wine. Currently Aussie wine, cider and perry producers are eligible for a rebate of up to AU$500,000 on the tax. For the big players this is “nice to have”. Not having it isn’t going to kill them. For the smaller players with a handful of staff this is the only way they can compete.
As it stands all Cider makers (excluding fruit ciders) are eligible. The Australian Government is trying to reduce the cost of the rebate to the Federal Budget. So Cider Australia is proposing to exclude cider makers who use imported juice or concentrate. The theory is if you want the rebate you must buy your juice from Australian growers. This will ensure the tax dollars from the rebate say in the Aussie economy. As the biggest players take the most rebate while using imported concentrate this adjustment would be a big saving. Craft Cider producers do not claim anywhere near the maximum $500,000 as they just don’t sell the volume.
Full Cider Australia press release after the break