UK duty escalator to blame for high prices

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has today claimed that the Government’s wine and spirits duty escalator is to blame for UK consumers paying the 4th highest prices for alcohol in the EU.

New figures show that British consumers have to pay 43% more for their alcohol compared to their European counterparts.

The figures published by Eurostat and the ONS compare consumer price levels across the EU. They confirm that Britons are paying more for their alcohol than most other EU countries apart from Sweden, Finland and Ireland.

Responding to the new figures Mile Beale, WSTA Chief Executive said:

“The Government has been putting increasing pressure on consumers with continuous tax rises on wine and spirits for the past 5 years.  Tax now accounts for 57% of the cost of a bottle of wine and 79% of a bottle of vodka”

“These figures show that British consumers are being squeezed much more than our European counterparts. At a time when cost of living increases are hitting families hard the Government needs to urgently reconsider its unpopular wine and spirits duty escalator.”





Eurostat data on comparative alcohol costs is available here:

ONS Data in June showed that Wine and Spirit inflation contributed 0.2% of the CPI inflation growth in 2012-13

The WSTA is the UK organisation for the wine and spirit industry representing over 340 companies producing, importing, transporting and selling wines and spirits. We campaign to promote the industry’s interests with governments at home and abroad. We work with our members to promote the responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.


For more information please contact William Boyack:

Tel:        +44 (0) 20 7089 3876

Mob:     +44 (0) 7948 329 001

Email:   [email protected]

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