As of April 1, 2023, Canada will be raising its alcohol tax by almost 7%. This increase will apply to all types of alcohol, including beer, wine, and spirits. The decision to raise the alcohol tax has been met with mixed reactions, with some people praising the move as a way to discourage excessive drinking and others criticizing it as a burden on consumers and businesses.
One of the main reasons for the increase in alcohol tax is to address the growing problem of alcohol-related harm in Canada. According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, alcohol is responsible for over 14,000 deaths in Canada each year, making it the leading cause of preventable death in the country. By raising the alcohol tax, the government hopes to reduce the overall consumption of alcohol and, in turn, reduce the negative health and social impacts associated with excessive drinking.
Another reason for the increase in alcohol tax is to generate revenue for the government. With the COVID-19 pandemic putting a strain on public finances, the government is looking for ways to raise additional funds. The alcohol tax increase is expected to generate an estimated $600 million in revenue each year.
However, the increase in alcohol tax has been met with resistance from some quarters. Many people argue that the increase will disproportionately affect low-income households, who are more likely to consume alcohol and who may struggle to afford the higher prices. In addition, some businesses are concerned that the increase in alcohol tax will deter customers and hurt their bottom line.
Overall, the decision to raise the alcohol tax in Canada is a controversial one, with both benefits and drawbacks. While the increase may help to reduce alcohol-related harm and generate revenue for the government, it may also place a burden on consumers and businesses. It remains to be seen how the increase in alcohol tax will be received by the public and what impact it will have on alcohol consumption and related harms.