Clubs Australia, alongside the Australian Hotels Association and the Brewers Association, is calling for relief from the twice-yearly tax hike on draught beer, due to the revenue impacts of COVID.
The three organisations have joined forces to launch a campaign alongside Queensland pubs and clubs to ask for the tax levied on a keg of beer to be cut in half, taking the taxes from $70 down to $35.
Queensland Hotels Association (QHA) chief executive Bernie Hogan told News: “Twice a year for 35 years pubs and drinkers have copped a tax hike on draught beer.
“This year – after our members have done the right thing throughout the pandemic and at a time when jobs and businesses hang in the balance – we ask that pubs and drinkers get a break,” he said.
Britain’s chancellor recently reduced tax paid by pubs on drinks at the pump by five per cent, reports The Guardian, which amounts to around $53AU across a keg (based on schooners, at a typical price).
Brewers Association chief executive John Preston said a 50 per cent cut in draught beer would reduce the federal government’s revenue from alcohol tax by only $150m a year, or around five per cent of total beer taxes collected.
“Other countries have been reducing their tax on draught beer to give pubs and beer drinkers a break.
“The industry is telling us they want to help out their patrons as well as employ more as they rebuild. But the high level of tax is holding them back,” said Preston.
CEO of the Australian Hotels Association, Stephen Ferguson, says they are not asking for cash handouts, such as received by the airline, building and travel industries, they are merely asking to be “taxed less”.
“We’re trying to meet the government halfway, recognising that they have had to get us through the pandemic and have a revenue issue they need to address,” adds Ferguson. “So we believe this is more than reasonable.”