Australian beer drinkers have been slugged again with another tax rise.
Last Tuesday, the beer tax increased from $57.79 to $59.06 per litre of pure alcohol, making Australia the third-highest taxed country in the world behind Finland and Norway.
Brewers Association of Australia chief executive John Preston said punters and families would be the ones to lose out.
“While the Treasurer inherited these automatic half-yearly beer tax increases, we’re calling on the government to step in and take some action before a trip to the pub or a dinner out with the family becomes an unaffordable luxury for most Australians,” he said.
Drinkers will now pay almost $25 in tax on a carton of beer because of the 2.2 per cent increase.
Mr Preston said increases to the excise, which rises every six months, had not generated more money for the Treasury, with revenues “stuck” at about $2.5bn a year.
“We’re not selling as much beer and that is a long-term trend,” he said.
“People have just drunk less alcohol generally.”
He said drinkers were now paying almost $4 in tax when buying a round of four full-strength pints.
“They are just hurting beer drinkers and our pubs and clubs,” Mr Preston said.
“It was difficult to get people back in the doors after Covid and now it’s so expensive to buy a round.”
The Brewers Association and the Australian Hotels Association are calling for a freeze on the excise.
Distillers have also been smashed with a tax hike, which is now more than $100 per litre of alcohol.