The Brewers Association and Brewers Guild of New Zealand, along with Hospitality New Zealand, are calling on the Government to deliver beer tax relief to brewers, pubs, clubs, other venues, and beer drinkers through a cut in kegged beer tax.

In the just-released campaign, the organisations are asking members to share the impacts of an excise increase on their business, to show that ongoing government-imposed costs can no longer be taken on the chin and to #cutthekegtax.

In 2021 the government took over $1.2 billion in alcohol excise taxes. Alcohol excise is adjusted annually against the CPI, so the Government is set to raise this by $85.2 million dollars in 2022. This includes a $28.3 million increase for beer alone.

“We are at an unprecedented stage in our economic cycle where hospitality and brewing businesses are facing huge cost increases, labour shortages and coming out of 2 years of restrictions on trading and low customer numbers,” says Brewers Association Executive Director, Dylan Firth and Brewers Guild Executive Director, Melanie Kees.

“These factors coupled with record levels of inflation will push the annual excise increase up by a whopping 6.9%. The industry has managed to absorb many of the cost increases it has faced throughout the pandemic but for many this latest increase will mean price increases for their customers and ultimately consumers.

“Of course, it is not all about the financial impacts. Our ask to reduce keg tax by 50% for a one-off boost to support hospitality businesses, just makes sense.

“It is targeted for a sector hit hardest by government restrictions, it supports the responsible consumption of alcohol through promoting enjoying beer in a licenced and supervised environment as well as incentivising consumers to get out and socialise in what is recognised as an environment that has massive social and mental health benefits.

“We believe this is a relatively small ask to support an important part of New Zealand’s social environment, one that signals this government is here to help.

“Over 160,000 New Zealanders are employed in the accommodation and food service industry, many of these being pubs and restaurants. With venues seeing huge decreases in trade since the COVID-19 outbreak, a 50 per cent keg beer would reduce the tax payable on a pint of beer by around 35 cents.”

“The next beer excise increase will be on 1st July and is likely to be the biggest hike in over three decades – just as venues start to recover.”

For more on the campaign, visit www.cutthekegtax.co.nz

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