Love coming home from work for that relaxing vino over dinner? Perhaps a few drinks numbs the economic woes at the moment? Well that drink just got a whole lot pricier as of today July 1. So our booze is now more expensive AND it’s bad for me? I’m off to detox…

The NZ Government’s 2.8 per cent increase in excise duty on alcoholic spirits today (July 1) has been slammed by the peak industry body. The excise tax on a standard one litre bottle of spirits (37 per cent alcohol by volume) will rise by 48 cents, from $16.68 to $17.16.

The CEO of the Distilled Spirits Association, Thomas Chin, says that bars, restaurants and retail sales outlets will have no option but to pass on the increase in tax through higher prices to customers. “This increase comes at a time when consumers can ill afford further price increases as they struggle with the effects of the recession. The hospitality trade is also under pressure,” he said.

“Tax increases are particularly short sighted at this time as they contribute to a further decline in sales, job losses across the hospitality, entertainment and beverage industries and a negative impact on the government’s coffers. “If the government is committed to helping business pull through the recession it will avoid this dangerous ‘tax ’em while they are down’ approach and stay the increase in the interests of maintaining employment and enterprise.

“It’s cold and there’s not much economic cheer around. Consumers need a break and the government has an opportunity to deliver some relief for all those who enjoy the warmth a nip of spirits can bring,” he added.

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