Excise taxes set to kill off businesses

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, the nation’s largest grassroots advocacy group representing taxpayers, today asked policymakers to ease excise taxes to help businesses survive these tough economic times.

“Australia’s alcohol tax is twice as high as New Zealand’s, seven times that of the United States, and a whopping nineteen times that of Germany. The government makes more on a glass a beer than the brewers that made it.

“Brewers and distillers contribute to industries across the economy from barley growers to airlines serving mini-bottles of gin. By cutting one of Australia’s most inequitable taxes, policymakers could help thousands of businesses and even more individuals,” said ATA Policy Director Emilie Dye.

“Businesses at every level of production are struggling as bars are shut down and people are saving their money in case they lose their jobs. Some are trying to adapt by delivering beer, wine, and liquor to people’s homes, but that comes with its own tax hurdles, namely the fuel excise.”

“The government collects just over $0.42 for every litre of fuel purchased. For the brewer traipsing across NSW to sell at least a few six-packs, every penny matters and that $0.42/litre could cost him his business.

“In normal conditions, excise taxes are unfair as they give certain industries a tax advantages while punishing others. However, in a world turned upside down by COVID-19, those taxes are deadly. As businesses begin to go under this downturn will snowball into a serious recession and eventually a depression.

“Rather than focusing on getting every possible dollar from the taxpayer so it can then distribute that money, the government should be trying to ease the load on taxpayers wherever possible. And policymakers should start with cutting excise taxes.”

/Public Release. View in full here.