In B.C., a case of Lucky Lager cost $34.99 in 2015. This year it’s $39.09: NDP study

In the past two years, B.C. residents have found themselves having to dig into their pockets for an extra $5 if they want to buy a 24-case of Lucky Lager.

They’re paying more for a litany of other boozy drinks, too.

That’s according to a report from an unidentified consultant that was released by BC NDP candidate David Eby on Monday.

The study looked at 156 randomly-selected alcoholic drinks as part of its study.

It found that 153 products saw price hikes of anywhere between one and 64 per cent, while just two saw their prices go down.

Glenlivet Archive 21-Year-Old Scotch Whisky saw the most dramatic price hike, going from a pre-tax cost of $173.90 in 2015 to $285.99 this year.

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Meanwhile, the pre-tax cost for a 24-pack of Lucky Lager was $30.43 in 2015. This year, it’s $33.99.

Add in sales taxes of 15 per cent, and the after-tax cost went from $34.99 to $39.09 in two years.

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These pricing changes have come at the same time as a new liquor pricing model came into effect in B.C. in 2015.

The report said that the pricing model was intended to keep prices “the same.”

But that’s not happening, according to the study.

While liquor prices have gone up, government revenues from the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) have grown from $935.2 million in the fiscal year ended March 2015 to $1.03 billion in the following year.

Wine and sparkling wine are shown on display at a B.C. liquor store in Vancouver, Friday, Dec. 19, 2008.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

“It’s a very clear relationship between higher prices and more revenue to government,” Eby told Global News.

“This is a hidden beer tax, that’s all it is.”

Meanwhile, industry operators say they haven’t exactly seen a windfall since 2015.

“We’re not making any more than we were two years ago, individual government stores aren’t making any more money than they were two years ago,” said Jeff Guignard of the Alliance of Beverage Licensees.

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For her part, BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark laughed off the study’s findings at a Tuesday news conference.

“You know, the NDP reports are probably about as reliable as their platform,” she said.

The consultant’s report noted that it’s “not possible to definitively conclude that the price increases were a direct result of the new liquor pricing model.”

But there’s no doubt that, for many products people can find in a B.C. liquor store, they’re having to fork out more than they were used to just a couple of years ago.

With files from Ted Chernecki
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