First they came for the property market, and I did not speak out — because there was no way in Hell I could afford anything to begin with. Then they came for the humble Bunnings snag, and I did not speak out — because I’m usually too hungover to make it out for a sizzle on time, anyway. Then they came for Australian beer prices… and now there’s really nothing left to live for. Is there?
August has kicked off in remarkably grim fashion after the Australian Tax Office (ATO) raised the excise on the good stuff by 4% during its semi-annual CPI indexation review. According to the Brewers Association of Australia, this represents the biggest increase in over 30 years.
Now, thanks to the inescapable matter of inflation, Aussie beer drinkers will be parting with a little more of their hard-earned paycheques just to enjoy a frosty sharpener.
“We have seen almost 20 increases in Australia’s beer tax over the past decade alone,” said John Preston, Brewers Association of Australia CEO.
“Sadly, we’re now seeing the impact as pub patrons will soon be faced with the prospect of regularly paying around $15 for a pint at their local.”
“For a small pub, club, or other venue, the latest tax hike will mean an increase of more than $2,700 a year in their tax bill – at a time when they are still struggling to deal with the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.”
“Over the last two years, we’ve done the right thing, followed the government mandates, closed down when we had to and operated under really difficult restrictions,” Tony Fyfe, Co-Owner of Hemmingway’s Brewery in Cairns, said of the rising Australian beer prices all the way back in February.
“This is just another kick in the guts… it’s really, really tough to work with.”
Prior to the ATO’s decision, Australians were already shelling out $2.26 in tax per litre of pub-poured grog. While this might seem like a negligible sum, as pointed out by Perth Now, that was almost half of what you’d pay in a typical carton of full-strength beer and 17 times more than the $0.13 you’d pay in Germany.
In 2020, a report conducted by University of Adelaide economist Kym Anderson AC determined Aussies paid the world’s fourth-highest beer tax, only behind Norway, Japan, and Finland. Given the latest development, we may very well be on track to secure the thorned crown.
Bob Hawke is rolling in his grave right now.