In news that will affect the wallet and good times with mates, beer is likely to get more expensive for Kiwis.
New Zealand brewers have warned that the Government’s recent decision to increase the alcohol excise rate by 6.65% will cost Kiwis who enjoy a brewski, signalling that it’s poor timing considering the current cost of living crisis.
“The beer excise increase could not come at a worse time for brewers and consumers,” said Brewers Association of New Zealand Executive Director Dylan Firth and Brewers Guild Executive Director Melanie Kees.
“With Kiwis facing a cost-of-living crisis, more tax is the last thing anyone needs. What that means is that when you next buy a 12 pack of beer, 50% of the price will be made up of tax through excise and GST.”
Firth and Kees add that they will have no choice but to steeply raise the price of a cold one, which will be bad for business.
“Combined with the many other increasing costs brewers and beer sellers in the hospitality sector are facing, the price of a pint is fast becoming out of reach. The last thing we want to do with our borders re-opening and tourism building up again, is to be seen as the land of the unaffordable pint.”
Chairman of the Brewers Guild, Joseph Wood, warns that the tax increase could be the breaking point for smaller brewers, especially after a similar increase occurred last year.
“To hit the industry with another hefty increase this year, could be that final straw that breaks some of our smaller breweries,” he said.
“Many of these breweries are small businesses who are doing their absolute best, producing amazing beer, adding value to their local communities and economies, employing staff and yet, another increase of this size could be the difference between staying in business or not".
“It's not so easy to say, just pass the costs onto the consumer, times are tough and many of us are a core part of our local communities, we look after each other.”
Rebecca Williams from Alcohol Healthwatch believes the tax is good due to the harm alcohol can cause, not just to the drinkers but to non-drinkers too.
You can still go out and enjoy a few beers with your mates (which science has said is good for you when it is JUST a few), it’ll just be a bit more tough on the ol’ wallet.