Brewers Association of Australia – Budget Submission

Dear Treasurer,
On behalf of Australian beer drinkers and hospitality operators, the Brewers Association of Australia is asking that you consider in the upcoming Federal Budget reducing those rates of excise that apply to draught beer only by 50 per cent and freezing all other rates of excise for beer for a period of two years.

We are calling for these measures because, though they will have a very limited impact on overall Federal Government revenue from beer tax, they will offer significant support to struggling pubs, clubs and other venues and will ease the burden of ongoing record tax increases on beer drinkers across Australia.

Impact of record beer tax Increases on hospitality and beer drinkers

The record beer tax increases on 1 August 2022 and now on 1 February 2023 are damaging Australia’s pubs and clubs and unfairly punishing responsible Australian beer drinkers. Beer is the anchor product for pubs and clubs across Australia with beer sales consistently averaging around 70% of alcohol sales by volume in venues.

The increase in beer tax announced to take effect on 1 February 2023 will mean that the tax has gone up by around 8 per cent in the past six months. Australians are now paying almost $20 in tax for every slab of beer they buy at the bottle shop and pub and club owners are having to pass on almost 90 cents of tax on every pint of beer they pour. Taken together the Australian Hotels Association estimate that these increases will cost a small pub around $5,400 a year and come after several years of difficult trading conditions associated with COVID-19 restrictions.

These new record increases, the largest in over 30 years, follow almost 20 increases under the previous Federal Government.
With tax increases and other cost pressures pub goers will soon be faced with the prospect of regularly paying almost $15 for a pint in their local. It is increasingly unaffordable for many people to visit their local to catch up with friends or have dinner with their family.