Australias brewers are hoping the government will follow the UK

Australia's brewers are hoping the government will follow the UK

Brewers in Australia are urging the Government to follow the UK's lead by taking action on beer duty, according to local reports.

The industry has called on the country's Treasurer, Wayne Swan, to freeze beer tax in next month's Budget, The Australian reported yesterday (21 April). Brewers say they are suffering from one of the highest duty rates in the world.

In its submission to the Treasury, Carlton & United Breweries, the brewing arm of SABMiller subsidiary Foster's Group, says that the beer industry is "no longer recession proof" and has been hit by drinkers spending less, it was reported.

Under the Australian system, beer tax is raised twice a year, linked to inflation, similar to the UK's duty escalator system. The model was introduced in Australia 30 years ago by then-Prime Minister Bob Hawke.

Last month, the UK Government removed beer from its duty escalator system, but kept it in place for wine, spirits and cider. Chancellor George Osborne also cut duty on a pint of beer by GBP0.01.