Advance Australia Fair: oh the irony!

As well as marking the middle of Winter, July is the month when the Australian government demonstrates, with cold hard cash, that it understands the challenges faced by small wineries in Australia and New Zealand(by virtue of CER) and does something about it. For us, that something is a $15,000 cheque representing a full rebate on WET (the Australian equivalent of our excise tax) paid on our exports to Australia in the preceding 12 months. That’s right, the Australian government fully reimburses New Zealand wineries for any excise (WET) paid on sales to Australia up to $500K per winery per annum.

So, I hear you asking, what relief has our own government provided NZ wineries this July. If you thought the answer was none you’re hopelessly optimistic. From July 1 2013 we are paying an extra 3c a litre towards the government’s multi-million program of stealing money from wineries and rural communities aka Excise. We now pay the government, every month, over $25 for every case of wine we sell.

To put that in perspective, we are a very small winery and in our 20-odd years of operation we have now paid over a million dollars in excise! If we didn’t have excise the government would still have received some of that million in tax on profits but most of it would have been spent in our rural community on employment, better wages and re-investment for future growth. Instead that money disappears into a black hole in Wellington and its loss to us makes the sustainability of an inherently risky business
(weather, frost etc) that much more difficult.

So, the Australian government helps us and our own government hammers us – oh the irony!

Roger Parkinson

July 2013

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