By Andrew Starke
The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) NSW has accused the Government’s CPI rises of being a ‘silent killer for business’, while making it harder for social drinkers to enjoy an affordable beer after work.
AHA (NSW) CEO Sally Fielke said the latest increase contained in the August 2011 Consumer Price Index (CPI) coupled with electricity, wages and on costs could see prices rise by about 40 cents per schooner if fully introduced.
She called for excise relief to be part of the upcoming Tax Summit.
“Enough is enough – the CPI’s twice-yearly price increases are nothing but the result of a Government overly keen on targeting social drinkers as an easy source of revenue,” Fielke said.
“Beer is becoming a luxury item. Once again everyday Australians are being hit where it hurts by bureaucrats who push up prices at any opportunity.
“The combined effects of the CPI recommendations coupled with ever rising brewery, electricity and production costs could well see the price of a schooner go up by about 40 cents just for hoteliers to stay on an even keel.
“Let’s stop making drinking a taxing time for everyone and allow hardworking people to enjoy a drink at the end of their day. This is an issue that urgently needs to be addressed at the Tax Summit.”
Fielke said licensed premises would do their best to absorb costs but price rises were inevitable.
“We try to keep any increases to a minimum as much as we can,” she said.
“We don’t want to see people paying more for a product many enjoy in moderation every day. Whilst pubs and clubs do their best to absorb these increases where possible, with rising costs, many venues will have little choice but to pass these price hikes on to customers.
“Don’t forget, more than 80 percent of our members are ‘mum and dad’ operators who are just trying to get on with the difficult job of running their own small business without the added demands of an over-zealous taxman.”
The June 2011 CPI adjustments are effective from today (Aug 1) with more information available from the Australian Tax Office (ATO).