Medicos call for overhaul of booze taxes

A MAJOR overhaul of Australia's booze taxes would go a long way towards reducing social and health problems associated with alcohol.

That's the call from leading medical experts who want booze taxed by alcohol volume.

McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth executive officer Julia Stafford and Curtin University health policy Professor Mike Daube said the approach to alcohol taxation in Australia was too complex and "incoherent".

For example, the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) is based on wholesale prices not alcohol content. This means cask wine may sell for 18 cents per standard drink and contribute only five cents per drink in tax.

Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer said the government was already looking into the wine tax.

"The industry has called for reform of the WET rebate as there is concern the rebate has moved beyond the original intent," she said.