Release: “Un-Australian” beer price hike will crush small businesses, advocacy group warns

A hefty tax hike on beer sold in commercial venues has been dubbed a “death sentence” for small hospitality venues by advocacy group Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Consumers and small businesses will pay the price for the biggest tax hike in a decade set to descend on Australian brews at pubs, bars and clubs on February 1.

The price of a schooner in Australia is bound to rise as venues pass on the impacts of the increased tax to patrons.

Already around 42 per cent of the price of a beer is tax, with only a tiny portion going to the venue.

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance said the Australian Government’s February 1 tax hike was another nail in the coffin of the country’s hospitality industry.

ATA Executive Director Brian Marlow said the tax targeted independent brewers.

“After two years of lockdowns and economic carnage, you’d think the last thing we would focus on is a tax on small independent brewers, because that’s what this beer tax is,” Mr Marlow said.

“It’s a tax on Aussie businesses that employ thousands of Australians and provide the rest of Australia with a product that helps us unwind.

“A massive tax hike on one of Australia’s biggest and currently most vulnerable industries spells disaster and could be a death sentence to many of the country’s smaller venues.

“Increasing the excise tax at a time when businesses are struggling to rebuild themselves after a brutal two-year period is dangerous and tone-deaf.”

ATA Chief Operating Officer Gabe Buckley said the tax would benefit neither Australian brewers nor beer drinkers.

“It’s just another money-spinner for Canberra’s bureaucrats at the expense of hard-working, innovative and entrepreneurial Australians,” Mr Buckley said.

Since 2011, the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance has advocated for everyday Australians against everything from irresponsible to downright corrupt government moves.

The ATA is a grassroots advocacy group fighting for smaller government, more transparency and less bureaucracy.

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