HERE’S CHEERS FOR SMALL BEERS
INDEPENDENT Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott said today’s federal budget is good news for Australian craft beer manufacturers who, unlike small wineries, don’t get a significant rebate of the excise on sales they must collect on behalf of the federal government.
“Aussie craft beer makers, the small operators, have been looking for equity in their excise rebates for a long time,” Mr Oakeshott said.
“The lifting of the excise rebate to small brewers, from $10,000 to $30,000, is a downpayment on comprehensive alcohol tax reform.
“Tonight’s budget measure is cause for Aussie brewers to raise their glasses, but it is only a small start and reflects ongoing efforts to see the craft beer market in Australia develop to the next level.”
Mr Oakeshott, who has been a strong voice for fairer tax treatment of Australian-owned microbreweries, highlighted the excise anomaly prior to the national Tax Forum in Canberra last year, after Port Macquarie’s Little Brewing Company raised concerns the rebate had not changed in more than a decade.
The excise rebate of up to $10,000 to brewers of less than 30,000 litres of beer a year will increase on July 1 to $30,000 and the eligibility threshold of 30,000 litres of beer will be removed.
The changes will allow breweries to receive an excise refund of 60 per cent of excise paid, up to $30,000 a year.
The Australian Association of Microbrewers has campaigned for this to be lifted to $500,000 to match the tax rebate available to small winemakers.
“A more equitable excise rebate helps grow microbreweries and the significant contribution they make to regional communities through employment and tourism opportunities,”Mr Oakeshott said.
“Tonight’s measure is a start to major improvements in the way alcohol taxation is done in Australia and I hope we can finally get comprehensive alcohol tax reform in the coming 12 months with the Henry tax review as the starting point for discussion.
“As for small beer makers, the changes in the budget signal respect for Australian-owned small business in a competitive, boutique market.
“Most electorates in Australia would have at least two or three microbreweries. I hope tonight’s excise announcement boosts the brewers’ campaign, and boosts their production,” Mr Oakeshott said.