Letter brings an urgent call to cancel 4.7% beer tax increase in Canada

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Published December 7, 2023 at 2:30 pm

beer tax canada
Photo: Tembela Bohle

Beer could cost more next year and workers and unions are banding together to oppose a 4.7 per cent beer tax increase in Canada.

Federal beer excise duties are set to increase by 4.7 per cent in April 2024, which will likely increase the cost of beer.

A case of 24 beers could be 20 cents more expensive, CJ Hélie, president of Beer Canada, has noted.

Beer Canada has opposed the tax hike and now 13 leading organized labour organizations representing the brewing sector from the brewery to distribution and retail wrote an open letter to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Honourable Chrystia Freeland opposing the tax.

The signatories, representing beer workers from coast to coast, call for the cancellation of an above-inflation beer tax hike to safeguard jobs and their futures.

“At a time when Canadians are grappling with the highest cost of living increase in decades, compounded by escalating interest rates, food prices, and transportation costs, it is inconceivable that the government would consider imposing an above-inflation tax hike on one of Canada’s most beloved products,” the letter reads.

The tax presents a “threat” to the stability of the industry and jeopardizes jobs, the letter notes.

Inflation-based beer tax “adds fuel to inflation, puts upward pressure on interest rates and makes the Bank of Canada’s job to bring inflation back to its mid-range target of two per cent more difficult,” Beer Canada argues in a press release.

Raising beer taxes by nearly five per cent when Canada already has the higher beer taxes in the G7 would harm consumers, workers across beer’s added-value supply chain as well as the hospitality and tourism sector, Beer Canada says.

beer tax increase canada

 

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