Brewed awakening: Beer prices set to leave a bitter impact on our wallets

Aug 03, 2023
Brewers Association of Australia chief executive John Preston has said the recent tax rise is 'out of control'. Source: Getty

As the cost of living continues to loom over the country, beer enthusiasts are facing a bitter reality as the price of their beloved pints has skyrocketed.

As of August 1, the Australian Taxation Office has implemented a bi-annual tax increase of 2.2 per cent on alcohol, which has caused a surge in beer prices across the country.

Drinkers will now be paying almost $25 in tax when purchasing a carton of beer, $1.50 in tax for a pint and $90 in tax for a keg.

The tax increase has now also made Australia among the top three highest alcohol-taxing nations globally.

John Preston, the chief executive of the Brewers Association of Australia, expressed that it would be the patrons and families who would suffer the most.

“While the Treasurer inherited these automatic half-yearly beer tax increases, we’re calling on the government to step in and take some action before a trip to the pub or a dinner out with the family becomes an unaffordable luxury for most Australians,” he said.

Preston has also said that the beer tax has risen by more than 10 per cent since the Albanese government was elected in May of last year, and has called the government to step in and freeze further increases.

“Tax hikes are becoming out of control,” Preston said.

“We don’t believe these increases are now actually raising any more money for the government. They are just hurting beer drinkers and our pubs and clubs.”

It isn’t just beer prices that are increasing, the cost of eggs in Australia is also expected to increase due to a proposed national plan to stop selling caged eggs.

The move would see the price of the breakfast staple go from an average of $8 to $9 a carton of dozen to a whopping $15.

A recent comprehensive analysis of grocery prices across the country showed the annual grocery price inflation had risen to a record high of 9.49 per cent with the largest price increases being found in items such as dairy and eggs which saw an increase of 9.05 per cent and bread and bakery items at 4.94 per cent.

The rising cost of groceries has already left pensioners stressed about where their next meal would come from.

According to Bob Barber, despite receiving the age pension of $1,464.60, the rising cost of living has left him and his wife unable to afford groceries and basic necessities.

“By the time we pay for our rent, put money aside for insurance, the car licence, gas and electricity, and pay for [health appointments] … we’ve got about $10 to $15 left in our pocket. And that usually goes into fuel,” Barber recently told the ABC.

“We couldn’t buy any groceries with what we’ve got left. We don’t get any luxuries. We don’t go out to meals because we can’t afford it.”

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