Summer is in full swing, and what better way to enjoy the warm weather than with a cold beer in hand? But before you head out to your local bar or pub, brace yourselves and, more importantly, your wallets. It’s time to break out the piggy bank because beer prices are about to soar. According to recent reports, schooners are set to increase to a stunning AUD$12 in some places in Australia. It may be time to flick the club and throw an old-fashioned house party instead.
In a letter obtained by The Daily Telegraph, the head of The Beer Brewer’s Association of Australia (BAA), John Preston, wrote to Treasurer Jim Chalmers saying: “People are already paying $8 a schooner in parts of Sydney – if this keeps rising like this it will be soon be surging past $12.”
Recent figures from the Brewers Association of Australia have revealed that the tax on beer has seen a record-breaking 8% increase in the last six months – the biggest jump in over 30 years. This increase is largely due to the Consumer Price Index rising 7.8% in the last year. As of February 1st, consumers can expect to see their draught and packaged beer prices rise by an additional 3.7%, in addition to the 4% increase implemented last August. This latest increase is yet another blow to consumers already feeling the strain of rising prices, leaving many feeling the pinch on their already tight budgets.
The Beer Brewer’s Association of Australia (BAA) is speaking out against these hidden tax increases, urging the government to freeze beer taxes and even cut prices in bars and clubs. With Australia now paying the fourth-highest beer tax in the world, it’s getting harder for businesses to stay afloat. The soaring inflation is making it more and more difficult for patrons to enjoy a cold drink at their local.
Alistair Flower, the managing director of Flower Hotels, told ABC news: “We don’t think it should be seen as a luxury to come to your local and have a beer in the front bar,” he said. “After COVID, the one thing we wanted to do was come back to the local and have a beer, and that’s becoming harder and harder for people as time goes on.”
Port Macquarie bar patron Paul Walsh said it was certainly becoming harder for punters to enjoy a social bevvy: “I think you understand prices can go up on your variables with floods and everything,” he said. “Taxes on beer, it’s sort of a bit un-Australian isn’t it, to put it up when everyone is doing it a bit tough.”
John Preston warned that the price of a pint could soon reach $15, while the tax on a slab of beer would add an additional $1.50. This means that consumers would be paying over $20 in taxes for a case of beer. In response, the Brewers Association is calling on the May budget to impose a two-year freeze on beer taxes that are sold in bottles, as well as halve the excise on beers served on tap. The Association believes these measures are necessary to protect the industry and its customers, who have seen prices skyrocket.
Shadow Health Minister Anne Ruston agreed.
“With cost-of-living pressures biting — to be able to grab a beer at the pub and relax is a fundamental right … last thing we need to see is increasing the price of goods,” she said.
For those interested in the scoreboard, The Daily Telegraph has found that people in Canberra pay the least amount of money for a schooner at $7.50, while Adelaide coughs up the most at AU$ 9.14.
Trip to the nation’s capital, anyone?
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