UK Chancellor could rethink alcohol tax hikes

26 November, 2008
UK Chancellor Alistair Darling is expected to 'tweak' planned duty rises on whisky.
UK Chancellor Alistair Darling is expected to 'tweak' planned duty rises on whisky.Following complaints from the Scottish Whisky Association that the Chancellor's planned 8% tax hike on alcohol would mean about 29p on a bottle of whisky, it is thought that Darling will rethink plans.The permanent tax hikes - planned for 1 December - come after Darling announced a 13 month cut in VAT, from 17.5% to 15%.
The British Beer and Pub Association has called for the Chancellor to apply the same tax measures to all alcohol.The BBPA plans to make four key points to officials:• The tax plans announced on Monday are not, as the Chancellor stated, a balancing measure, but are increasing costs. The duty changes are not off-set by VAT reductions, but in fact result in price increases. • That any tax changes announced for whisky and spirits should apply to the whole alcohol sector.• That there needs to be a more realistic transition period for the tax changes to be implemented — preferably January 2009.• All sectors need to be fully consulted by the Treasury before any changes are tabled.

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