In Australia, bars and clubs sold 40 million fewer pints of beer between July and September last year compared to the same period in 2019.
Brewers Association of Australia chief executive John Preston said that after a horror year in 2020 where pubs and clubs lost more than $1 billion in beer sales due to closures, ATO data suggests 2021 could be worse.
The ATO recorded 903,982 liters of alcohol as served in beers over the counter in July-September 2021, compared to 1,993,027 liters during the same period in 2019.
“These figures show that the damage caused by the pandemic in our pubs and clubs got worse last year,” Preston said in a statement on Sunday.
He said that, on average, beer sales account for around 70% of alcohol turnover in licensed premises, and a drop of this severity has hit pubs and clubs incredibly hard.
The association is calling on the Australian government to use the upcoming federal budget to reduce the fourth highest beer tax in the world to give pubs and clubs a fighting chance.
On February 1, Australian beer drinkers will be hit with one of the biggest beer tax hikes in more than a decade.
Alcohol excise duty is indexed twice a year based on the consumer price index.
“It’s not right and it’s not sustainable,” Preston said.
“Other countries have reduced their taxes on draft beer to give pubs and beer drinkers a break.”
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