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Australian Beer Tax

Australia Faces the Biggest Beer Tax Hike in 30 Years


Aussies are more than willing to cop skyrocketing petrol and home prices, but beer is where we draw the line. According to The Guardian, The Australian Tax Office recently revealed the excise on beer will be raised by 4 per cent, making it the largest tax hike in 30 years. As a bunch of brew lovers, we’d organise a protest but the midweek hangover has us lying on the couch eating pizza and watching Shane Warne highlights.

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Australian Beer Tax

Image: iStock

Ok, crack open a ridiculously priced beverage and settle in for the facts of the matter. We’ve crunched the numbers, and a 4 per cent increase is roughly AU$2.50 more per litre. Even if you ditch the pub for the bottle shop, 9news reports you won’t be able to avoid the price hike. Taxes on a case of beer are set to rise to AU$18.80. Yikes.

Every two years, the excise is adjusted based on inflation, and because everything else has gone up, the ATO believes it’s time beer joins the party. Australia has the fourth highest beer tax on the planet, with a report revealing we only fall behind the likes of Norway, Japan, and Finland.

As you’d expect, the Brewers Association of Australia is outraged at the proposed price changes, with CEO John Preston calling the action unfair to all Australians. “Australians are taxed on beer more than almost any other nation,” he said. “We have seen almost 20 increases in Australia’s beer tax over the past decade alone.

He continued: “Brewers and pub and club operators were extremely disappointed the former Government did not deliver on a proposed reduction in beer tax at this year’s March Budget. Sadly, we’re now seeing the impact as pub patrons will soon be faced with the prospect of regularly paying around $15 for a pint at their local. For a small pub, club or other venue, the latest tax hike will mean an increase of more than $2,700 a year in their tax bill – at a time when they are still struggling to deal with the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.”

Preston then called out Australia’s Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers, requesting he review the planned changes to the beer tax. “This is a problem that the new Treasurer has inherited from his predecessors, and there are many competing demands on the Budget,” he said. “Nonetheless, we believe there is a strong case for beer tax relief to be provided by the new Federal Government – with the hidden beer tax to go up again in February 2023.”

According to 9news, Chalmers doesn’t plan to remove the tax but will look at ‘potential relief’.

This is all too overwhelming; somebody grab us a beer.

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