UK freeze cold comfort to Aussie beer lovers & businesses

Brewers Association of Australia

THE freezing of British beer tax, announced overnight in the UK Budget, is a slap-in-the-face reminder of just how hard our beer tax hits Aussies. The Brits have frozen their so-called high beer tax at $1.52 (AUD) per litre… but we already pay $2.26.

It also draws into sharp focus the handbrake on our vitally important hospitality and tourism sectors and the local jobs they support, especially at a time of great economic uncertainty.

“We’d take $1.52 any day,” Brewers Association of Australia CEO Brett Heffernan declared today. “Only a cut to our beer tax regime will correct the injustice of Aussies paying many times more than almost all other countries, while, at the same time, giving local businesses the boost they need now.

“At $1.52, the Poms reckon their beer tax is unfair on punters, that it kills jobs and they can bear no more hikes.

“It’s time our politicians recognised Australia’s $2.26 beer tax, the fourth highest in the industrialised world, is grossly over-the-top and brought it into line with comparable countries. A cut would be fair and aid economic repair.

“Our excessively high beer tax, which accounts for almost half the price of a stubby, makes it harder for people to go out and enjoy a beer with their mates. That reality places a strain on hospitality and tourism operators already doing it tough.

“It means beer lovers and businesses in Australia face added pressures other countries do not bear, with Aussies paying many times more in beer tax than those we typically compare ourselves with:

  • 17-times more than Germany ($0.13),
  • 15-times more than Spain ($0.15),
  • 7-times more than the US ($0.31),
  • 6-times more than Canada ($0.35),
  • 4.5-times more than France and Italy ($0.50), and
  • approaching double that of New Zealand ($1.26).

“In December 2017 Donald Trump cut beer tax in half, with the result that today’s US beer tax rate is just $0.31 (AUD). Last night, Boris Johnson froze British beer tax at $1.52 (AUD). Meanwhile, Australia’s beer tax went up to $2.26 last month and will go up again in August.

“Freezing the beer tax may be popular in the UK, but a freeze would do nothing to take pressure off Aussies. No-one would thank a government for locking-in such extreme beer tax rates.

“Cutting beer tax rates will give Aussies the fair go and relief they deserve, while providing timely and much-needed stimulus to small, medium and large businesses, especially in hard-hit hospitality and tourism.”


/Public Release.