Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon has called on the Federal Government to give craft beer brewers a fair go in the upcoming budget.
Ms Claydon said the Turnbull Government needs to remove unfair taxes that are benefitting big beer manufacturers at the expense of smaller independent brewers.
“I’m calling for an end to the current unfair tax treatment and a fair go for independent brewers,” Ms Claydon said.
“Currently 30 litre kegs, which are much more commonly used by independent brewers, attract a greater rates of federal excise than 50 litre kegs. Given that federal excise can make up 40 per cent of operating costs for small breweries, this is a big deal for small operators trying to make a go of things.”
Ms Claydon said the Newcastle-Hunter region has the potential to develop a thriving craft beer industry with real opportunities for job creation.
“There are more than 400 independent breweries across the country and 65 per cent of them are in regional Australia,” Ms Claydon said.
"Even though independent craft brews make up less than five per cent of the beer that is sold, independent breweries support almost three quarters of the jobs in the sector."
Ms Claydon said the Turnbull Government should be focused on growing new industries, rather than chasing expensive company tax cuts.
“How is it the Turnbull Government is happy to splash $13 billion on wasteful tax cuts for the banks, but it keeps hitting independent brewers with unfair tax excises?” Ms Claydon asked.
“Already, independent brewers generate an estimated $740 million a year in economic output. This could grow dramatically with the right Federal Government support."
Ms Claydon has established a petition in support of independent brewers here. She will be counting down her top ten Budget Wishes in the days leading up to the Federal Budget on Tuesday 8 May.