By Ian Neubauer

The AHA released a statement yesterday (May 7) saying a tax hike on alcohol in this week’s Federal Budget will hurt average Australians.

“Any increase on top of this would upset the average Australian who enjoys having a beer at his or her local hotel,” said AHA chief executive, Bill Healey.

“If tax on alcohol was to increase, it will make it harder to attract people out of their homes to our venues, putting jobs at risk and increasing the level of unsupervised drinking.”

The statement follows mounting speculation that the Federal Government is considering a range of new taxes for alcohol to boost the public purse as tax receipts plummit with the economic slowdown.

Healey said pubs have already been hard hit by the introduction of non-smoking laws and the rise of large-format bottle shops.

He called on the Federal Government to honour its promise that the level of excise on alcohol products would be considered only as a part of the ongoing ‘Australia’s Future Tax System’ tax review. 

“We already have an orderly process to increase excise on alcohol every six months, which was introduced by the previous Labor Government,” he said.

There are approximately 7000 pubs in Australia employing 250,000 people. Most are small businesses. Many are located in regional and rural areas and derive the majority of their income from alcohol sales.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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