VICTORIA – New Democrat liquor policy spokesperson David Eby is pledging support for the province’s restaurant industry on alcohol pricing in the wake of chaotic changes to government liquor policy over the last six months.
Eby says the government’s price hikes to retail beer and wine prices threaten already thin margins in the hospitality sector, which is currently forced to pay full retail for beer and wine.
“With their new price increases, especially for wine and craft beer, the B.C. Liberal government seems determined to make succeeding in a difficult industry even harder,” said Eby. “Forcing restaurants to pay full retail price just means that high liquor costs are passed on to restaurant customers, hurting tourism and reducing business opportunities. Even small price increases have major impact in this industry.
“Premier Clark’s misguided policy hurts customers, hurts businesses and threatens jobs all over B.C.”
Last week, the government refused to disclose new retail pricing the hospitality industry will be facing for beer and wine effective April 1, holding the information back until the day the new prices come into effect. The uncertainty has caused great difficulty for restaurant owners setting budgets and deciding when, and what, wine and beer products to order.
“From a lack of information about imminent price changes to a total disregard of feedback from restaurants during their industry consultation, this government has forgotten about a critically important sector of our economy,” said Eby. “New Democrats don’t take for granted the contribution of B.C.’s restaurants to our economy and tourism, and we support restaurant operators in their call for a fair price for beer, wine and spirits.”