Beer, spirits face price hike as alcohol excise jumps 1.8 per cent

Beers, spirits and pre-mixed drinks are set to be more expensive from Monday when federal taxes on alcohol are hiked yet again.

The price rise is due the federal government’s excise on alcohol, which automatically rises twice a year in February and August, and is determined by changes in the annual inflation rate — currently at 4.1 per cent.

Under the changes, one litre of pure alcohol will now be subject to $101.85 cents of excise — up from $100.05 — a rise of 1.8 per cent.

From Monday, a pint will increase by about 90c, while a slab will be roughly $20 more expensive, according to the Brewers Association.

With budget papers forecasting the alcohol excise is set to rake in almost $7.9bn into government coffers this financial year, Finance Minister Katy Gallagher last Thursday said the price hike was a regular occurrence.

“In relation to the indexation arrangements that are around alcohol, this is something that happens,” she said.

“This happens … as normal kind of course of business for governments of both persuasions, these are the tax arrangements that remain in place.”

However, Ms Gallagher did not rule out altering excise rates in the future amid the current cost of living crunch.

“We look at these matters every budget, we look at what’s possible, what’s affordable,” she said.

Wine is not subject to the alcohol excise, with the wine equalisation tax applicable instead.