Call Time On Duty campaign makes its case to Parliamentarians

The Call Time On Duty Campaign has made the case to Parliamentarians for an end to the alcohol super tax, known as the alcohol duty escalator, at a Parliamentary Reception last night, hosted by Priti Patel MP.   

Leading figures from across the drinks industry attended the Reception to outline the economic benefits of scrapping the alcohol duty escalator and freezing alcohol duty in the Chancellor’s upcoming March Budget.

MPs from all parts of the UK and across the party political spectrum heard that since the alcohol duty escalator was introduced in 2008 tax on wine has increased by a staggering 50% and for spirits by 44%.

The Call Time On Duty Campaign is being supported the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, the Scotch Whisky Association and the TaxPayers’ Alliance. 

Speaking at the reception, Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said:

“The alcohol duty escalator is a super tax on a great British industry, including a large number of SMEs across the country, our pubs and restaurants, and many hard-pressed consumers.

The impact of the escalator means that an important sector of the British economy, of which we should all be proud, is fighting to contribute with one hand tied behind its back.

Independent research from Ernst & Young shows that by scrapping the escalator, the Chancellor would generate an extra £230 million a year for public finances and create 6000 new jobs.”

Priti Patel MP told guests:

“British spirits and wines are gaining a strong reputation globally and we should be doing all we can to promote this sector and help it grow further.

There are however barriers to growth that need to be looked at and reviewed, including tax.

For many, the punishing tax regime this sector faces now risks holding it back.

We have seen the benefits to the beer industry of beer duty being scrapped and it is now time for the Government to look again at the tax regime on spirits and wines.”

Also speaking at the Reception, Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said:

“When you buy an alcoholic drink you get hit by a triple whammy: VAT, duty and then VAT on the duty.

Last year we successfully campaigned for a cut in beer duty, which had been an attack on anyone wanting an honest pint at the end of a hard day’s work.

So now we are joining those calls to say ‘be fair, George’, what you did for beer drinkers last year you should do in March’s budget for those who appreciate a glass of wine or spirit.

Scrapping the duty escalator will help businesses up and down the country and provide benefits for the wider economy.”


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