Recent provincial alcohol policy decisions to hit Manitoba spirits consumers with higher prices.

TORONTO, March 11, 2013 /CNW/ - The first significant policy decision of the newly amalgamated Manitoba Lotteries Corporation (MLC) and Manitoba Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) is a general liquor product mark-up increase. The merging of the MLC and MLCC was promised to realize operational efficiencies and cost savings. Yet, instead it is about to increase liquor commodity taxes to raise more revenues from consumers.

Liquor manufacturers have been informed that provincial commodity taxes on beverage alcohol products will increase effective April 1, 2013.

The widely questioned decision by Manitoba earlier this year to permit direct shipments from out-of-province wineries to enter the province tax-free may be a contributing factor to the decision to raise liquor mark-ups on sales through government liquor stores in order to off-set future anticipated lost revenues.

"The decision to jack-up spirits taxes once again is completely contrary to what Industry had been told were the priorities of this Government", explained Mr. Jan Westcott, President & CEO of Spirits Canada. "Clearly this decision is inconsistent with the commitments made that the merging of liquor and gaming would drive efficiencies for the benefit of consumers and suppliers and, further, that Manitoba was committed to nurturing local manufacturing of spirits".

Most spirits brands are expected to increase by $0.50 to $0.70 per 750 ml bottle when the new provincial liquor mark-ups are in effect.

Spirits Canada is requesting the Premier to reconsider this ill advised tax increase on Manitoba consumers and require a debate and vote in the provincial legislature for all future increases in liquor mark-ups in the province as these are in essence disguised tax hikes.

Spirits Canada is the only national trade association representing Canadian Spirits manufacturers with Member companies representing more than 90% of all domestic spirits production.

SOURCE: Spirits Canada

For further information:

Mr. Jan Westcott
President & CEO
Spirits Canada
Cel. 416 707 8851


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