Pubs, clubs want ‘hidden’ beer tax cut

CHEAPER beer could be on the cards for Aussies ready to pump money back into pubs and clubs, as the Morrison Government is heavily ­lobbied to freeze excise on alcohol.

Bosses are warning the "hidden tax" could cruel the hospitality industry's chances of getting back on its feet after COVID-19, with the next excise increase due in August.

Excise on alcohol is expected to raise about $6 billion in 2019-20.

The Australian Hotels Association, Brewers Association of Australia and One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson are demanding a freeze or scrapping the tax for booze at restaurants or clubs.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said yesterday: "We are in the harvesting phase, during which we look at new and old reform proposals with fresh eyes."

He would not say if the Government was open to freezing alcohol excise.

AHA chief executive Stephen ­Ferguson said excise was a hidden tax.

"Most Australians would not know that 42 per cent of the retail price on a carton of beer is tax and 57 per cent of the retail price on a bottle of whisky or gin is tax. Australians are now paying the fourth-highest liquor taxes in the world,'' he said.

Originally published as Pubs, clubs want 'hidden' beer tax cut