by Morinville News Staff

Raising taxes on Canadian alcohol producers will put jobs at risk, according to Conservative MP John Barlow.

The federal budget included a two per cent tax increase on beer as well as an annual increase on beer, wine and spirits tied to inflation.

Barlow says Canadian craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries currently pay some of the highest taxes in the world. He believes 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“An escalating tax hike was tried once before, under the previous Trudeau government, and was ultimately repealed because it was too rigid and insensitive to regional economic differences,” Barlow said. “Canadian businesses were forced to close their doors, and good paying jobs were lost across the country. Why are the Liberals willing to put tens of thousands of Canadian jobs at risk once again?”

Barlow says the government’s tax hike represents another hit to the alcohol industry, which was excluded earlier this year from the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.

Barlow is not alone in his disappointment in the tax hike.

“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.”

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