Josh Frydenberg

Government scraps beer tax increase

July 29, 2020
By Alana House

The Australian Government has announced there will be no increase to alcohol excise duty rates – the so-called “beer tax” – on August 3, 2020. 

It said the decision was due to the consumer price indexation factor not being greater than one.

There had been widespread calls for the increase to be waived.

The Australian Hotels Association, the Brewers Association of Australia, Australian Grape and Wine, Clubs Australia and Spirits and Cocktails Australia said the freeze would help the sector recover from COVID-19 lockdowns.

Brewers Association of Australia chief Brett Heffernan told AAP last month that it was the wrong time to put further pressure the sector.

“The last thing people need is for beer tax to go up again in August,” he said.

“If we’re to fire the starter’s gun on the economy we have to dump the excise baggage.”

Bob Katter

Federal Member Bob Katter (above) also expressed his concern over the tax.

“I am sick and tired of the self-righteous, restrict-everything brigade who are pushing the higher taxes on alcohol,” he said.

“It’s no wonder we have an increasingly high male suicide rate. The pub is a place you can get things off your chest and talk to mates, so it’s detrimental if going to the pub costs an arm and a leg.”

The last time alcohol excise increased was in February, when the tax rose to $2.26 per litre. In a carton of 4.9% beer that retails for $52, $22.05 is tax. 

Lion and CUB had both vowed not to pass on the tax increase if it was implemented.

Pictured main: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was photographed serving beers at The Glenferrie Hotel in Victoria in May.  

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