Punters whacked again

Pubs, clubs and beer drinkers are set to be whacked by another beer tax hike on Wednesday 1st February.

The 3.7 per cent increase means that the amount of tax on a slab or a schooner will have gone up by around 8 per cent over the past six months. That means beer drinkers are now paying almost $20 of excise on a slab and nearly 90 cents of tax on a pint in the pub.

These new record increases, the largest in over 30 years, follow almost 20 increases under the previous Federal Government which have driven Australia’s beer tax rate to the fourth highest in the world.

The increases come as Treasury was forced to revise down its estimates for revenue from beer tax at the Budget in October. The Government had expected to raise $2.65 billion from the tax in 2022/23 but had to cut this by $30 million and acknowledge that reduced sales for 2021/22 meant it only raised $2.46 billion.

Responding to this latest tax grab the Brewers Association has written to the Treasurer as part of the Budget process asking that the Government consider freezing the tax on beer sold in bottle shops for two years and halving the beer tax pad on tap beer in pubs and clubs.

CEO of the Brewers Association John Preston said:

“An 8 per cent tax increase in the space of 6 months is a huge blow to everyone who enjoys a beer and the pubs and clubs which rely on beer sales. These are hidden tax increases which have been going up every six months for the past 20 years. We believe that beer drinkers are now really beginning to notice when the price of their pint, pot, schooner or slab goes up due to yet another tax increase. And venues are telling us that the record increases are making it more difficult to get people back through the door.

“We actually don’t think that these rate increases are now even delivering any more revenue for the Treasury. They are just hurting beer drinkers and small businesses.

“We are asking the Government to act at the next Budget and give people buying a slab a couple of years of relief from further tax hikes with a little extra help for pubs and clubs through a 50 per cent reduction in the draught beer rate.”