Budget countdown – WSTA issues open letter to the trade

With one month to go until the Budget, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has issued an open appeal to the sector to work together to persuade the Chancellor to end his alcohol super-tax on 19th March. It has outlined five simple ways members of the trade can get behind the Call Time on Duty campaign. 


Since the Alcohol Duty Escalator was introduced in 2008, tax on wine has increased by 50% and by 44% on spirits, costing the industry vital jobs and unfairly hitting consumers in the pocket.

UK consumers now pay more in alcohol duty than France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland combined.

Independent research from Ernst and Young has found that scrapping the Alcohol Duty Escalator will create over 6,000 jobs and boost the public finances by £230 million in 2014 alone. Scrapping the Escalator one year early would actually help the Chancellor reduce the deficit and cut unemployment. The challenge is to make sure our voice is heard.

There are five simple ways anyone can help support the campaign.

1. Email your local MP via the Call Time on Duty website and request that they write to the Chancellor on your behalf (it’s simple, you don’t need to know who your MP is and it will only take a minute of your time!)
2. Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to email their local MP
3. Follow the campaign on Twitter @CallTimeOnDuty and Tweet your followers to also get behind the campaign
4. Send a letter or a press release to your local paper and outline the impact of the Escalator on your business
5. Display a copy of the campaign poster around your workplace

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

“If the drinks industry unites to make its voice heard, then our campaign will be increasingly hard to ignore. With only four weeks to go until the Chancellor delivers his Budget we need to ensure our voice rings out loud and clear in the corridors of power.

The Escalator is bad for the economy, bad for business and bad for the consumer. It is vital to spell out clearly to the Chancellor the significant contribution of a great British industry to jobs and growth in the UK – as well as its potential if he scraps the Escalator one year early in next month’s Budget.”

A copy of the WSTA’s open letter to the trade can be found here

Notes to Editors

- 79% of an average priced bottle of spirits and 57% of an average priced bottle of wine is now accounted for by tax
- Independent research from Ernst & Young has found scrapping the ADE will increase the industry’s contribution to Economic Activity from £43.2bn to £44.2bn - a one billion pound boost for the economy
- UK consumers pay a staggering 38.8% of all alcohol duty collected in the EU – more than France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain combined.
- Wine and spirits are worth £5.5bn to pubs in the UK and make up 42% of the value of drinks sold in the on trade. Scrapping the ADE would provide a significant boost to the pub industry.

For a full copy of the Ernst & Young report or 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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