Australian brewers want the federal government to cut the beer tax to help the struggling hospitality and tourism sectors.
Brewers Association of Australia chief Brett Heffernan said it was an injustice that the nation paid much more than most countries.
“At $1.52, the Poms reckon their beer tax is unfair on punters, that it kills jobs and they can bear no more hikes,” he said.
“We’d take $1.52 any day.”
Mr Heffernan said Australia’s beer tax – at $2.26 a litre – was the fourth highest in the industrialised world. He said that was “grossly over the top” and should be reduced to bring it into line with comparable countries.
“Cutting beer tax rates now will give Aussies the fair go and relief they deserve, while providing timely and much-needed stimulus to small, medium and large businesses, especially in hard-hit hospitality and tourism,” he said.
Mr Heffernan said the tax rate was scheduled to increase in August –while the US halved it about two years ago to $0.31 a litre.
Overnight, the British rate was frozen at $1.52.
Mr Heffernan said the Australian beer tax amounted for almost half the price of a stubby.
“That reality places a strain on hospitality and tourism operators already doing it tough,” he said.