The WSTA campaigns each year to ensure a fairer tax environment for the wine and spirit industry in the UK. Last year, the Chancellor heeded calls from the WSTA and wider industry and passed on a welcome freeze in spirits duty, although he also levied an increase on wine, increasing the price by 7p per bottle of still wine and 9p per bottle of sparkling wine.

 

Whilst the freeze in the November 2017 Budget was warmly welcomed across the supply chain and by consumers, pressures remains that mean the UK wine and spirit industry is unable to meet its full potential, held back by a punitive duty regime.

In 2017/18, UK wine and spirit businesses and consumers paid £7.7bn in duty, accounting for 67% of revenue collections despite accounting for less than a quarter of total alcohol clearances. Consumers now pay £2.23 per bottle of still wine and £8.05 for every bottle of spirit (40% ABV) and duty rates remains so high that 55% of the average priced bottle of wine and 74% of the average priced bottle of spirit is taken up in duty and VAT.

Furthermore, high inflation means that wine and spirit businesses have already had to deal with a painful 3.9% increase in duty in March 2017 at a time when the business environment was volatile, this volatility remains today.

As inflation remains high, so does the burden on businesses. The OBR forecasts that that wine and spirit businesses will have to pay an additional £1.2bn in alcohol duty per year by 2023, such a burden would significantly affect the industry and would restricts ambitions to invest and further innovate and also to fulfil export aspirations.

For more information on the WSTA Budget campaign, view our latest news stories below, and follow us across our social media channels – Twitter and LinkedIn.

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