Why a pint of beer will soon be more expensive in the pub – and how Aussies are getting ripped off compared to the rest of the world

Australians could soon pay up to $15 for a pint of beer and more than $24 for a cocktail with alcohol excise duty set to rise next month.

Australia already has the third highest tax on spirits in the world, while the price of beer is much more expensive than in foreign cities popular with Australians.

A cold one costs $5.12 in Tokyo, $4.85 in Bali, $6.83 in Berlin and $8.66 in Athens.

Excise taxes on alcohol will rise on February 1, with an increase of around two to three percent expected.

The rates are based on the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, meaning the higher the inflation, the more the cost of alcohol rises.

Soaring inflation has already raised costs for Australian consumers by 12.5 per cent in less than two years.

The hospitality industry has been up in arms over the looming increase, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese facing calls to freeze the «un-Australian» tax.

Calls are growing for the Albanian government to freeze taxes on alcohol, with the latest increase due next week set to raise the price of a pint to $15 in some pubs. Two women are shown in a bar in the Barangaroo area of ​​Sydney

The hospitality industry has been up in arms over the looming increase, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese facing calls to freeze the «un-Australian» tax.

The increase from February 1 will lead to an increase in excise duty to $60 per liter of pure alcohol.

This will increase the tax on a pint by about 90 cents, with a $55 carton of beer being charged $20 on top of GST.

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Last August, the tax on a barrel of beer rose by $2 to $78, with February’s indexation likely to raise the tax to $80.

There’s even worse news for spirits drinkers, with some cocktails in Australian bars set to cost more than $24 from February 1.

Australia’s spirits tax is already more than $100 per liter of alcohol, the third highest in the world after Iceland and Norway.

Industry group Spirits and Cocktails Australia (SCA) said «two-year indexation continues to support inflation and cost-of-living pressures».

«The federal government’s own data is beginning to confirm the folly of this antiquated excise duty regime,» said SCA chief executive Greg Holland.

«Despite the record high tax, December’s budget update revealed a projected $170 million shortfall in spirits excise revenue in 2023-24.»

Mr Holland said it was “clear evidence that the tax is making spirits unaffordable for consumers.

Some cocktails in Australian bars will cost more than $24 from February 1. The picture shows four women drinking cocktails

“Continued increases would be pointless; consumers, producers and the government all lose from this inefficient tax.”

Paul McLeay, CEO of the Australian Distillers Association, agreed.

«The policy settings were made 40 years ago in 1984,» he told Daily Mail Australia.

«And we’re now saying that 40 years later, the taxes and the policy settings are so out of date.»

Mr McLeay said when the rules came into force there were two distilleries in Australia, Bundaberg and Beenleigh.

«Today, almost 600 Australian businesses are caught in this antiquated policy setup and tax structure, and I don’t think (the Australian government) ever thought it would be this high.»

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He said if the government did not freeze the indexation of spirits taxes, it would add to inflation at a time when Australians are already doing it hard and could lead to job cuts in distilleries.

«The average Australian would be horrified to know how much of their hard-earned money they spend on spirits goes directly to the government,» McLeay said.

“A tax on spirits over $100 a liter should be a stopper for barbecues this summer.

The price of beer in Australia is much more expensive than in overseas cities popular with Australian travellers, for example $5.12 per pint in Tokyo, $4.85 in Bali and $6.83 in Berlin. A woman is pictured filling beer at a bar in Sydney

«We call on the Government to freeze this un-Australian and intolerable tax so we can work together to develop policy settings to support the sustainable growth of this promising industry.»

Online commenters made their views clear, with one saying: “It must be because they care about us so much.

“Nothing to do with raising revenue for the government, hey? The increase in smoking and alcohol must be stopped! That’s enough, hey!

Another suggested that making your own beer was a way to get around the tax increase. «Homebrew folks … can stick their taxes where the sun don’t shine,» they wrote.

How beer prices compare around the world

As Australians prepare to pay $15 or more for a pint of beer from February 1, here’s a look at what people around the world are paying. All prices are in Australian dollars.

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The five most expensive cities for a pint of beer

1 Doha, Qatar $19.00

2 Dubai, United Arab Emirates $18.15

3 Reykjavik, Iceland $15.47

4 Muscat, Oman $15.23

5 Beirut, Lebanon $14.91

The five cheapest cities for a pint of beer

1 Freetown, Sierra Leone $0.98

2 Lagos, Nigeria $1.04

3 Vientiane, Laos $1.08

4 Bujumbura, Burundi $1.12

5 Lilongwe, Malawi $1.24


Price of a pint in other cities around the world

Oslo, Norway $14.75

New York, US $13.83

Paris, France $11.83

London, United Kingdom $11.82

Dublin, Ireland $11.41

Auckland, New Zealand $11.12

Athens, Greece $8.66

Berlin, Germany $6.83

Seoul, South Korea $5.74

Tokyo, Japan $5.12

Bali, Indonesia $4.85

Bratislava, Slovakia $3.58

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