The major UK drinks industry trade associations are joining forces to urge the Government to abandon the tax escalator on alcohol due to start in March and pledge no further increases in excise duty in this year’s Budget.
The associations will present a joint submission to the Treasury calling for a rethink after last year’s 17% leap in excise duty.
That tax increase has exacerbated the problems facing the sector during testing economic conditions and the drinks industry cannot withstand further increases in excise duty without cutting more jobs and investment.
A spokesman for the five trade associations said: “It’s a bitter irony that a Government which claims it is committed to helping business is forcing job losses with tax increases which are also failing to meet their revenue raising objectives.
“We are not asking for special treatment. We simply ask not to be punished by further tax increases at the worst possible time. The last thing any business in the UK needs is higher costs.”