WSTA welcomes historic budget

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has today welcomed the decision by the Chancellor to freeze duty on wine and cut spirit duty by 2% in today’s Budget Statement.

Commenting on the Budget, Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said:

 "We are delighted that the Government has listened to consumers and taken action to address the UK’s excessive spirit duty rates. This small drop in duty will result in a big cheer for the UK’s 24m spirit consumers.

We campaigned for a cut in duty across all products and are disappointed that the UK’s 30m wine consumers did not receive a duty cut too. We would also have like to see greater support for the burgeoning English wine sector. But freezing wine duty is an improvement and a first step towards supporting wine businesses that are looking to invest in the UK, create jobs and back British pubs.

We are grateful to those MPs who listened to their constituents and supported our campaign and hope that all parties are able to support the measures outlined today and build on them in the next Parliament.”

This decision comes after months of campaigning by the WSTA and their members as part of the ‘Drop the Duty!’ campaign, run in partnership with the Scotch Whisky Association and the Taxpayer’s Alliance, which has been calling on the Chancellor to recognise the valuable contribution the industry makes to the UK economy and support it by making a modest 2% cut in duty on all alcohol products..

With UK consumers paying almost 80% tax on an average priced bottle of spirits and 60% on an average priced bottle of wine, today’s announcement of a 2% cut in spirits duty and a freeze in wine duty will be particularly encouraging for consumers right across the UK.

The campaign saw thousands of emails sent by members of the public calling on their local MP to support the campaign and urge the Chancellor to cut duty.

The UK’s alcohol tax rates remain much higher than those of its European counterparts, so the Chancellor’s decision is another step in the right direction to rebalancing this, following the abolition last year of the Alcohol Duty Escalator.


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