Will respect consumers and promote choice by allowing price competition in the beer market
Doug Ford today announced that an Ontario PC Government will reduce the minimum price floor for the sale of beer in Ontario to $1.00 plus deposit per bottle.
“Our plan puts people first,” said Ford. “For too long beer consumers have been forced to pay inflated prices for beer in order to increase the profits of big corporations. We’re going to allow price competition for beer and this will save consumers money.”
In 2008 the Liberal government increased the minimum price floor for beer, which discouraged competition and gouged consumers who previously benefitted from buying beer in a competitive marketplace. Under the PC Plan, brewers and retailers will be allowed to once again compete on price, down to the $1.00 per bottle price floor that previously existed.
“We’re the only party that puts people ahead of government and consumers ahead of big corporations,” said Ford. “If a brewer wants to offer you a buck-a-beer, there is no reason for government to stand in the way.”
The Ontario PC Party has previously announced that, as part of its plan for the people, it will expand the sale of beer and wine into more grocery stores, convenience stores and big box stores.
“It’s time to trust that consumers and local retailers are mature enough to make responsible decisions when it comes to the sale of beer and wine,” said Ford. “It’s time for the government to stop gouging the people. Change is coming and help is on the way.”
Backgrounder – “Buck-a-Beer”
In 2008, the Ontario Liberals raised the minimum price of 24 bottles of beer to $25.60 plus deposit, ending the days of “Buck-a-Beer” in Ontario.
This policy was solely about lining the pockets of foreign multinational brewers and protecting the monopoly of the Beer Store.
The difference between the retail price of beer and the Ontario beer tax rate goes directly into the pockets of foreign multinational brewers.
Given that the current beer tax rate on 24 bottles of beer is just over $7 a case, the increase from $24 to $25.60 was solely about increasing the profit margins for big beer by more than $1.50 per case.
Even worse, both the Liberals and the NDP want to continue lining the pockets of these foreign multinational brewers instead of delivering competition, increased consumer access, and lower beer prices.
How We Will Fix It:
A Doug Ford Ontario PC government will bring back ‘Buck-a-Beer’ in Ontario.
We will do so by amending the regulations within the Liquor Control Act to allow for a minimum price floor of $24 for 24 bottles of beer, plus deposit.
This will force brewers to reconsider their sale prices to stay competitive, all while delivering lower prices to consumers.
To allow for more competition, all retailers will be able to sell packaging sizes commonly found at the Beer Store, including cases of 12 or 24 bottles or cans.
Since Ontario’s beer taxes are volumetric, this will not impact government revenues or have a direct fiscal cost.
This builds on a previous commitment from the Ontario PC Party to expand the sale of beer and wine to corner stores, big box stores and grocery stores.