The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) figures show 4 out of 5 UK shoppers will be paying more for their wine this Christmas, following the Chancellor's decision to raise excise duty rates by 8%.
The vast majority of consumers (82%) buy wine costing £5 or less and it is they who will bear the brunt of price hikes. The combination of a cut in VAT and the rise in duty has a proportionately greater impact on lower priced products. The combined tax changes could reduce the price of a more expensive bottle of wine.
Jeremy Beadles, Chief Executive of the WSTA, said: "It is staggering that a Government which claims to act in the interests of the many not the few wishes to punish ordinary hard-working consumers who wish to spend the little cash they have left on a drink.
"The Chancellor has turned into Santa Claws, snatching scarce pleasure from millions of people.
"This is a double whammy for the drinks business - tax changes wreaking havoc during the busy Christmas trading period and another hit to small business cashflow. This is not what I call helping the British economy."