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Restaurants Canada applauds standardized tax rate for beer, wine, spirits


June 6, 2014
By Canadian Pizza

June 6, 2014, Quebec – Bar and restaurant owners are applauding the recent budget announcement
that standardizes the specific tax on alcohol as of Aug. 1, 2014.

June 6, 2014, Quebec – Bar and restaurant owners are applauding the recent budget announcement
that standardizes the specific tax on alcohol as of Aug. 1, 2014.

Restaurants Canada has long been calling for equal treatment when it comes to
this tax, said the organization in a media statement.

Currently
the specific tax on beer, wine and spirits varies with where the
product is consumed: at home via the convenience store, grocery or SAQ;
or in restaurants and bars. For beer at home, the specific tax is 50
cents a litre, compared to 82 cents a litre if consumed at a restaurant
or bar. For wine and spirits at home, the specific tax is $1.12 a litre,
compared to $2.47 at a restaurant or bar.

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The
new, standardized tax is 63 cents a litre for beer and $1.40 a litre
for wine and spirits, creating a level playing field for all. 

“Restaurants
Canada is very happy with this long-awaited decision, especially after
five months of work on the committee to review alcohol practices,” said
Jean Lefebvre, the association’s Quebec vice-president, in the statement.

“Grocers
and convenience stores have become in recent years competitors to
restaurants, with ready-to-eat meals and their own lines of wines. It
was more than time that taxes related to beer, wine and spirits were the
same for all in the market.”

The
budget also promises to create a committee to review government
programs and another to look into the fiscal situation of citizens as
well as companies. For Restaurants Canada, reviewing the fiscal
situation will enable an analysis of payroll taxes, which are 30 per cent higher
for restaurant operators in Quebec, compared to the rest of Canada. The
association is also pleased that the government will follow the
recommendations of the group on red tape, which should help small
businesses.

The
first part of the budget is focused on controlling finances and
spending, but there is also a focus on helping the economy. “Our
industry wants to take part in such an effort.  We are a major economic
partner with revenues exceeding $10 billion a year and more than 200,000
jobs in communities across Quebec,” said Lefebvre.