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Beer drinkers and the hospitality sector will be hit with higher taxes from today as government excise once again increases.
With the hospitality sector still battling to recover from the economic impacts of Covid-19 and many households facing real economic uncertainty, this is a terrible time for a further tax increase on beer.
Australians already pay the fourth highest beer tax in the industrialised world and these continued increases are damaging the brewing industry and our hospitality sector.
Australians have demonstrated consistently that they understand the importance of drinking in moderation with Australian alcohol consumption now at its lowest levels since the 1970s – Australian drinkers have earned some relief.
Many beer drinkers will feel the impact of the tax increase, especially at a time of real cost of living pressures.
Our tax regime is out of step with many other similar countries. Early last year, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic we saw Germany defer its beer tax from the equivalent of 13 Australian cents to zero and Britain froze their Beer tax at $1.52 (AUD).
The US Federal Government also passed legislation at the end of December making permanent significant tax relief for large and small brewers. This will lock in a permanent tax rate of $0.31 (AUD).
Meanwhile Australia’s current rate of $2.26 per litre will increase again as of today.
Brewers Association of Australia CEO John Preston said today, “Another excise increase is bad news for the hospitality sector, the Australian brewing industry and everyone who enjoys a beer. Many other countries, including recently the USA, have reduced taxes on beer to stimulate the economy and help households doing it tough.
“Any move by the Government to take the pressure off will be celebrated by the more than 9 million Australian beer drinkers.”