The hospitality industry calls for the Australian beer tax to be scrapped or frozen before it comes into effect next month.
The Australian federal government currently charges an average of $ 2.26 per liter of beer, which will rise to an unknown amount on August 1.
Without the increase, Australians are already paying the fourth highest tax on beer in the industrialized world after Norway ($ 3.46), Japan ($ 2.92) and Finland ($ 2.46).
Germany lowered its low beer tax from $ 0.13 per liter to zero during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the UK cut the tax at $ 1.52 to provide assurance to businesses.
Now pubs and breweries are demanding that the tax increase be dropped or the rate frozen at its current level.
Brett Heffernan, CEO of the Brewers Association of Australia, said on Monday that “Aussies have no logical reason to pay even more for beer.”
A group of friends drink beer in Fremantle, WA. Australian teenagers pay more for beer on August 1, when the beer tax rises for the 72nd time in history
“While the hospitality industry is struggling with the devastating economic impact of COVID-19, the latter tax increase comes at a time when tax collectors and patrons are least able to afford it,” said Heffernan.
“We appreciate that politicians of all beliefs urge people to go to their local homes for a beer to support local jobs. But the tax authorities are there from August 3 and impose the largest beer tax. ‘
Beer taxes have automatically increased twice a year since August 1983 in accordance with the consumer price index (CPI).
If the excise duty rate for beer rises on August 1, it will be the 72nd time Australia has raised the tax.
The Brewers and Hotels Associations have urged the federal government not to raise the tax – at least for this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Freezing CPI increases for beer and spirits for a year is revenue neutral for the government, but would be a much needed relief for consumers and tax collectors,” said a joint statement
The most recent tax increase came in February, when it rose by 1.2 percent.
If a similar increase occurs in August, the new average price will rise from $ 2.26 to about $ 2.29 per liter of beer.
A man drinks a cold beer in a Darwin pub. Research results show that Australians pay an average of $ 2.26 per liter of packaged beer and $ 1.59 for draft beer, making it the fourth most expensive country in the world to buy beer
While a one percent increase may not seem like much, Australian Hotels Association CEO Stephen Ferguson said, “This hidden tax is creeping up.
THE EXPENSIVE COUNTRIES TO BUY BEER
- Norway: $ 3.62 per liter
- Japan: $ 2.92 per liter
- Finland: $ 2.46 per liter
- Australia: $ 2.26 per liter
Workers across the country are doing hard this year with drought, forest fires, and now ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and tourist bans. Taxing more on a drink doesn’t help anyone.
“Increasing the tax only makes life more difficult for everyone, while a freeze would keep the government collecting the same tax rate for beer and spirits as it does now.”
Mr. Heffernan, CEO of Brewers Association, agreed “tax is the most expensive ingredient in Australian beer.”
“It’s not inputs, production, freight, packaging, advertising or retail overhead and profits … it’s the Australian government’s tax,” said Mr. Heffernan.
“At $ 2.26 per liter, Aussies are already paying the fourth highest beer tax in the industrialized world. Then they pay an additional 10 percent GST on top.
A substantial 42 percent of the price of an Aussie-made stubby is tax. A typical box of 4.9 percent alcohol beer retails for $ 52.00 – of which $ 22.05 is tax. Australian drinkers essentially yell at the tax office 10 out of their 24 stubbies. ‘
Brewers Association of Australia CEO Brett Heffernan (left) and Australian Hotels Association CEO Stephen Ferguson (right) urged the government to stop raising beer taxes during the COVID-19 pandemic
A report commissioned by the Brewers Association of Australia says Australians pay an average of $ 2.26 per liter of packaged beer and $ 1.59 for draft.
For comparison, New Zealand charges $ 1.26 per liter, Ireland $ 1.50, the US $ 0.31, and Canada $ 0.35.
The report also concluded that Australian tax rates on beer stalls are the fourth highest beer tax in developed countries.
The most taxed country was Norway, where the government charges $ 3.46 per liter of beer, followed by Japan with $ 2.92 and Finland at $ 2.46.
Excise duties on alcohol reduce the harmful use of alcohol and help governments offset the economic costs of alcohol abuse, the World Health Organization said.
Last year, the federal government made $ 3.6 billion in alcohol taxes.
An ATO spokeswoman said the tax on beer is increased twice a year in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the latter of which has not yet been released.
The Australian Statistical Office is expected to release the latest CPI on July 29, which will reveal exactly how much the beer tax will rise.
Two friends enjoy a drink in a beer garden in Perth. Last year, the federal government made $ 3.6 billion in alcohol taxes
COUNTRIES WITH LOWER BEER TAXES THAN AUSTRALIA
United Kingdom: $ 1.52 per liter
Ireland: $ 1.50 per liter
New Zealand: $ 1.26 per liter
France: $ 0.50 per liter
Italy: $ 0.50 per liter
Canada: $ 0.35 per liter
United States: $ 0.31 per liter
Spain: $ 0.15 per liter
Germany: $ 0.13 per liter