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LETTER: Stop escalating the beer tax

In response to Op-Ed: Proposed tax change isn’t a ‘hike,’ by Professor Rod Hill, Jan. 29.

Professor Rod Hill argues that an annual inflation adjustment to the excise tax on beer is not really an increase. To make his argument he leans on the assumption everyone’s paycheque increases by inflation. While this may be true for university professors with an indexed pension plan it certainly is not true for your average middle class Canadian.

Professor Hill downplays the fact that the federal government is going to automatically increase the tax on beer every year, he fails to mention that 47 per cent of the price of beer is already tax (in Nova Scotia it’s 52 per cent). He also leaves out the fact that the annual federal increase will drive up the ANBL’s markup and the HST. Nobody thinks ‘tax-on-tax’ is a good thing but there is a lot of it on beer and the federal government has now baked annual ‘tax-on-tax’ increases into legislation.

Beer Canada has indeed pitched itself against the federal government’s annual excise tax escalator because Canadians already pay enough beer tax. Professor Hill should oppose excise outright. It is a regressive tax after all. He should also oppose the automatic annual escalator mechanism outright because it is simply an undemocratic way of taking more and more money out of the pockets of hard-working Canadians without having to talk about it.

Close to 50,000 Canadians have signed our petition at www.axethebeertax.ca. I hope the good professor will sign it too.

Sign the petition to stop the escalating beer tax!

Luke Harford
President

Beer Canada

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