Tax Relief

Queensland pubs name for draft beer tax break after ‘summer time of Covid’

Pubs and clubs struggling through Covid get another hammer blow as draft beer tax is increased.

Pubs and clubs are begging the federal government to show venues a little love and cut beer taxes after a Covid-hit summer.

The Australian Hotels Association, Clubs Australia and the Brewers Association on Monday launched a campaign with Queensland pubs and clubs to cut a 50 per cent twice-yearly planned tax increase on draft beer, which is due to take effect on Tuesday.

“For 35 years, pubs and drinkers have snagged a tax increase on draft beer twice a year,” said Bernie Hogan, chief executive of the Queensland Hotels Association, on Monday.

“This year – after our members have done the right thing during the pandemic and at a time when jobs and businesses are at stake – we ask that pubs and drinkers take a break.”

The organizations want the tax charged on a keg of beer to be halved – from $70 to $35 – arguing that this would cut the average pub’s tax bill by $500 and the tax payable on a single pint of beer is, would lower by 40 cents.

Australia has the fourth highest beer tax behind Norway, Finland and Japan among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.

In Brisbane, Paddo Tavern owner Matt McGuire said pubs and clubs have done their part during the pandemic by closing their doors during lockdown and adhering to strict health protocols.

“We accept that taking one for the team during the pandemic was in the country’s best interest. We are not asking for handouts, just a reduction in the tax burden,” Mr McGuire said.

Brewers Association chief executive John Preston, whose group represents most of the big brands, said a 50 percent cut in draft beer would cut the federal government’s alcohol tax revenue by just $150 million a year, or about 5 percent of the total Reduce beer taxes.

He said the federal government has the opportunity in the upcoming federal budget to give pubs and clubs a chance.

“Other countries have lowered their taxes on draft beer to give pubs and beer drinkers a break,” Preston said.

“The industry is telling us that they want to help their customers and hire more people to rebuild. But the high taxes are holding them back.”

Read related topics:Brisbane

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