Better stock up: your beer, wine and spirits are about to get more expensive

Author: Aaron Wudrick 2021/03/26


  • Tax escalator will see excise tax hikes on alcohol hit April 1
  • Automatic increases reduce government accountability for tax hikes and set a bad precedent

OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation today advised any Canadians who enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine to stock up this week before the federal government’s tax escalator on alcohol kicks in to increase prices on April 1.

“Unfortunately, it’s no April Fool’s joke: every year, alcohol taxes rise automatically on April 1,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick.

First passed in the 2017 federal budget, the alcohol escalator tax automatically increases excise taxes on beer, wine and spirits every year by the rate of inflation. Taxes already account for about half of the price of beer, 65 per cent of the price of wine and more than three quarters of the price of spirits.

“Automatic tax hikes set a dangerous precedent that should concern all Canadians,” said Wudrick. “Tax hikes are a political choice, and politicians who make that choice should be transparent about it each and every time, rather than burying them in a legislative formula.”