Conservative MP John Barlow was disappointed to see the Liberals’ ram though their budget today, which will automatically raise taxes each year on Canadian beer, wine, and spirit producers without taking into consideration the effect on that industry.
Canadian craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries currently pay some of the highest taxes in the world. Applying an escalator to the excise tax will put Canadian jobs at risk and sets a dangerous precedent, as it allows the Liberal government to automatically increase taxes each year.
“An escalating tax hike was tried once before, under the previous Trudeau government, and was ultimately repealed because it was too rigid and insensitive to regional economic differences,” said MP Barlow. “Canadian businesses were forced to close their doors and good paying jobs were lost across the county. Why are the Liberals willing to put tens of thousands of Canadian jobs at risk once again?”
This Liberal tax hike represents another hit to the alcohol industry, which was excluded earlier this year from the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
“The Liberals’ spending is out of control, and I am concerned that they are raising taxes on alcohol producers to pay for it,” said MP Barlow. “It is clear that the excise tax escalator is a cash grab, which will hurt small businesses already facing a very high tax burden.”
“Beer Canada is disappointed the government has not listened to Canadian beer drinkers and the thousands upon thousands of Canadians across the country who work in our industry,” said Luke Harford, President of Beer Canada. “We fought to make sure legislators understood the economic value of our industry to Canada and the impact bad policy can directly have on middle class pocketbooks and businesses. We will continue to fight this unfair ‘escalator’ tax.”
“We are disappointed the government has placed a tax on the middle class and our value added agricultural industry that will increase automatically each year,” said Asha Hingorani, on behalf of Canadian Vintners Association.