Your pint of beer could soon set you back $15, thanks to the latest tax hike – Michmutters

Your pint of beer could soon set you back $15, thanks to the latest tax hike

Australians face a big rise in the cost of a pint, with the country’s beer tax recording its biggest increase in more than 30 years.

As of Monday August 1, the beer tax goes up to 4 per cent, adding about 80-84 cents to the cost of a pint of the much-loved amber liquid. This means you may soon be paying $15 for your favorite glass.

And there’s no escape for those who buy their beer by the slab. The beer tax will rise from $53.59 to $55.73 per liter of the beverage’s alcohol content, raising the tax on a carton about 80c, to $18.80.

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The tax on a keg will jump about $4, raising the cost to almost $74.

Because of this price hike, Brewers Association of Australia chief executive John Preston warned that patrons might now have to fork out $15 for a pint at their local pub or bar.

“For a small pub, club or other venue the latest tax hike will mean an increase of more than $2700 a year in their tax bill – at a time when they are still struggling to deal with the ongoing impacts of the pandemic,” he said .

The biannual alcohol excise is based upon the consumer price index (CPI), which is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by households for a fixed number of goods and services.

According to the ABS, the June CPI increased by 6.1 per cent over the last 12 months, with goods accounting for 79 per cent of the rise this quarter.

Due to the tax increase, patrons may now have to pay $15 for a pint at their local pub or bar. Credit: Getty Images

Publican of the Royal Albert Hotel in Sydney’s Surry Hills, Michael Bain, said that while the increase was certainly high, beer tax increased twice a year every year (in February and August), meaning the issue isn’t a particularly new one.

“These price rises … just keep affecting us all the time,” he said.

“Because of COVID, I think a lot of people didn’t put the excise on…so I think this is why it’s affected us more this time.

“Especially some of the craft brewers that we use, they’ve been absorbing those CPI increases. But even the small guys now are going to have to pass it on, so it will mean a price rise across the board for us.”

Preston said the industry had seen “almost 20 increases in Australia’s beer tax over the past decade alone”.

“Australians are taxed on beer more than almost any other nation,” he said.

If patrons are forced to pay $15 for a pint of beer, Bain said he believes people will still buy it, but may buy fewer beers.

“Instead of buying three beers, they’ll buy two. I think they really will buy one less,” he said.

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers. Credit: AAP

According to Preston, breweries and pub and club operators were “extremely disappointed” when the former government did not deliver its proposed beer tax reduction in this year’s budget, and that the new Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, has now “inherited” the Liberals’ problem .

“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,” he said.

Bain agrees, saying another possible solution could be cutting down the tax from twice a year to once a year.

“I’m not saying they shouldn’t do it and we need to pay taxes for health care and all that kind of stuff, but at what point do you just keep gouging everyone?

“You can’t keep incrementally adding on all the time at these massive rates

“(It’s) kinda like you’re absolutely smashing people with tax.”

Chalmers was contacted for comment.

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