WSTA chief: wine duty rise "grossly unfair"

30 October, 2018

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has warned consumers to expect an increase in wine prices as businesses take an inflationary hit following the Budget announcement.

The 3.1% inflationary rises on alcohol imposed by chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond, means wine businesses and consumers will experience the price increases a month before Brexit.


The duty rises by inflation will mean a bottle of wine will go up by 7p, sparkling wine 9p and an average priced bottle of fortified wine will also go up 9p. This does not include VAT which would add a further 20% to the wine duty rise.


However, the average priced bottle of spirits will remain the same after a freeze to spirit duty was imposed by the chancellor.

Miles Beale chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association said: “We welcome the Government’s decision to freeze duty on spirits, which will support this great British sector to invest, grow and create jobs - as well as supporting the public finances through increased revenues.


“However, the decision by the Chancellor to increase wine rates significantly is a hammer blow to this great British industry. 

“It actively undermines a sector that has been hardest hit since the Brexit referendum and will be thoroughly unwelcome for the 33m consumers of the nation’s most popular alcoholic drink.


“This inflationary rise is grossly unfair, unjustified and counter-productive. The UK is the world’s biggest wine trading nation and, as such, deserves government’s support, not punishment.”


The revised rates are due to come into effect after midnight on Friday, 1 February.

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