Campaign Launched to Cut Keg Tax

Hospitality New Zealand, along with The Brewers Association and Brewers Guild of New Zealand are calling on the Government to deliver beer tax relief to brewers, pubs, clubs, and beer drinkers through a cut in kegged beer tax.

Organisations are asking members to share the impacts of an excise increase on their business, to show that ongoing government-imposed costs can no longer be taken on the chin and to #cutthekegtax.

In 2021 the government took over $1.2 billion in alcohol excise taxes. Alcohol excise is adjusted annually against the CPI, so the Government is set to raise this by $85.2 million dollars in 2022. This includes a $28.3 million increase for beer alone.

“We are at an unprecedented stage in our economic cycle where hospitality and brewing businesses are facing huge cost increases, labour shortages and coming out of two years of restrictions on trading and low customer numbers,” said Brewers Association Executive Director Dylan Firth and Brewers Guild Executive Directors Melanie Kees.

“These factors coupled with record levels of inflation will push the annual excise increase up by a whopping 6.9%. The industry has managed to absorb many of the cost increases it has faced throughout the pandemic but for many this latest increase will mean price increases for their customers and ultimately consumers.”

The organisation expressed that asking to reduce keg tax by 50 percent for a one-off boost to support hospitality businesses, just makes sense. They noted that this cut is targeted for a sector hit hardest by government restrictions.

“It supports the responsible consumption of alcohol through promoting enjoying beer in a licenced and supervised environment as well as incentivising consumers to get out and socialise in what is recognised as an environment that has massive social and mental health benefits.”

Firth and Kees noted that the next beer excise increase will be on 1st July and is likely to be the biggest hike in over three decades - just as venues start to recover.