The beer industry is warning that the price of a schooner will soon hit $12 in pubs and clubs if the Australian Government continues to hike the excise duty rates for alcohol.
Excise duty rates rise twice a year, usually on February 1 and August 1, and are linked to inflation. And the cost of living is skyrocketing in Australia. The official Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for 2022 were released last week and they were much higher than economists were tipping. The CPI is currently at its highest level in more than 30 years.
On February 1, the tax on beer will increase by 3.7%, following a 4% increase imposed in August.
The Brewers Association of Australia has written to Treasurer Jim Chalmers begging for a reprieve for brewers and punters.
“These are hidden tax increases which have been going up every six months for the past 20 years,” CEO John Preston said.
“We believe that beer drinkers are now really beginning to notice when the price of their pint, pot, schooner or slab goes up due to yet another tax increase and venues are telling us that the record increases are making it more difficult to get people back through the door.
“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.”
The Association is calling on the government to freeze the tax on beer sold in bottle shops for at least two years and to halve the beer tax paid on tap beer in pubs in clubs.
If the tax hikes continue to rise, Australia is tipped to soon be home to the third highest beer prices in the world, behind Japan and Finland.