Stop Tax Hikes on Alcohol

From coast-to-coast, Canada has thousands of high-quality wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries. Over 95 per cent of these producers are small businesses, many of which have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation crisis, payroll tax increases, labour shortages, and ongoing supply chain issues. Small businesses are already taking on an average of almost $170,000 in new pandemic-related debt. Now is not the time to make doing business more expensive with another tax increase.

An increase in the excise tax on alcohol will hurt the entire industry, from growers to producers, to restaurants, to consumers. Conservatives called on the NDP-Liberal government to freeze the April 1 automatic escalator on excise taxes which will only increase the cost of doing business. Further, as a consequence of record inflation, this tax increase will be higher than ever due to it being tied to the Consumer Price Index.

Canada’s alcohol producers stepped up and retooled during the COVID-19 pandemic to manufacture products like hand sanitizer. Agriculture producers are already facing serious supply chain disruptions, and the hospitality sector was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. Instead of supporting their recovery, the NDP-Liberal government is slapping small businesses with yet another tax increase. The NDP-Liberal government is out of touch with the fact that everything is becoming more expensive. It’s time this tax-and-spend NDP-Liberal coalition gets serious about supporting Canadian small businesses by freezing the upcoming tax hike and focusing on making life more affordable for Canadians.