Second beer tax increase during the COVID-19 pandemic harmful to bars, restaurants and Canada’s economic recovery

OTTAWA, ON, April 1, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, the federal government’s excise tax on beer has increased for the fifth time in four years, and the second time during the pandemic. This increase will place additional stress on struggling bars and restaurants, as well as the 149,000 Canadians whose jobs are supported by the production and sale of beer. Despite ongoing calls by more than 250 businesses and organizations requesting that the federal government put a freeze on beer taxes to provide much-needed relief to the hospitality sector, one of the highest beer tax rates in the world – almost 50% of the price of beer – has gone up yet again. “Continuing to raise taxes on beer in the middle of the pandemic is counterproductive to the government’s goal of supporting the recovery of Canada’s hardest-hit businesses, including restaurants and bars,” said Luke Chapman, Interim President of Beer Canada. “The last thing Canadians need right now is higher taxes.” Introduced in March of 2017, the federal government’s automatic tax increase on beer occurs annually on April 1, without a vote by Parliamentarians. While the tax is applied at the brewery level, it has a trickle-down effect that extends to restaurants and Canadian consumers through higher beer prices.

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