With the May federal government Budget approaching, the best gift for Australian families could be long-awaited reforms to alcohol taxation. Over the past 30 years inconsistent policy advice, decisions and backflips have created damaging gaps in alcohol taxes supposedly based on alcoholic content. Powerful vested interests now defend the status quo, undermining democratic process. Using alcohol taxation as a case study, this presentation will provide an insider perspective on the budget decisions we didn’t get, and might hope for, to achieve vastly better results for families.
Glenys Byrne worked on more than 25 budgets at the Commonwealth Department of Finance between 1987 and 2016. She provided advice primarily in the area of federal financial relations, and was involved in a major review of tax expenditures and GST implementation. The award of two Department of Finance Secretary’s medals during her public service career acknowledged Glenys’s expertise and important contributions to tax and expenditure policy reforms.