Home Business News Alcohol industry calls on the Chancellor to cut ‘last year’s punishing duty increases’

Alcohol industry calls on the Chancellor to cut ‘last year’s punishing duty increases’

by Amy Johnson LLB Finance Reporter
21st Feb 24 10:51 am

The wine and spirits industry are calling on the Chancellor to cut alcohol duty at the upcoming Spring Budget.

Last year Jeremy Hunt raise prices which had and “immediate and negative impact” on UK businesses, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

The WSTA are calling on Hunt to take immediate action to cut the duty which will prevent further inflation that will see costs rise.

The latest data published on Wednesday by HMRC has suggested that the Treasury lost £439 million in exercise duty receipts for wine and spirits between September and January compared to the previous year.

In the 12 weeks to December the volume sales of spirits was down by 7.1% over the previous year and wine sale was down by 4.1%, the WSTA’s soon to be published Market Report will show.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said, “Last year’s punishing duty increases have had an immediate and negative impact on the amount of wine and spirit sold in the UK.

“Not only has this hurt British businesses, it has fuelled inflation and significantly reduced excise duty receipts to the Exchequer.

“Recent history has shown that cutting excise duty can lead to increased sales, prevent further price rises for consumers and bring in more revenue into the Exchequer.

“We are calling on the Chancellor to do himself, and everyone else, a huge favour by cutting alcohol duty.”

Philippa Strub, the UK chief executive of retailer Laithwaites, said: “It is no surprise that August’s 20% increase in wine duty has led to the Government receiving less duty revenue.

“We, along with many other wine merchants, have seen sales volumes decrease since the duty hike as consumers react to higher prices.

“Wine drinkers across the UK face yet higher prices from August this year if the Government increases duty at the spring Budget.

“Worse still for consumers, UK inflation and the Exchequer, the Government currently plans to unleash the full extent of the new duty system on wine next year, a system so fiendishly complicated that even Laithwaites, a business with over 50 years of experience, will struggle to operate across our range of 2,000 wines.

“With duty-fuelled wine inflation already running much higher than UK inflation, we call on the Chancellor to cut duty at the spring Budget and make the wine duty easement permanent.”

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