WSTA says duty rise "bitterly disappointing"

04 February, 2019
WSTA duty rise

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has warned British consumers to expect a rise in wine prices as businesses were hit with a duty rise on Friday 1 February.

The 3.1% inflationary rise, imposed by chancellor Philip Hammond, comes a month before Brexit and it means a bottle of wine will increase in price by 7p and sparkling wine 9p.

“This is as a result of the Chancellor singling out wine for an unfair duty increase in last October’s Budget,” said Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA. “This comes at a particularly bad time for the UK wine industry – the threat of a no-deal Brexit is still on the table with the government continuing to refuse to rule out leaving the EU without a deal on 29 March.”

Based on volumes of wine sales last year, UK consumers of wine and sparkling wine will collectively pay an extra £90m over the next year.

Beale added: “These price rises are a direct result of the Government’s refusal to back the UK’s wine industry - which supports 190,000 UK jobs - and its active decision to pass on a punishing duty rise; and the government’s inability to the UK’s trading relationship with the EU, from where over half our wine is sourced.

“The WSTA has been consistent in calling for support for the wine industry and for politicians to say no to a no deal Brexit. These price rises were entirely avoidable and bitterly disappointing.” 

Wine is now the UK’s most popular drink, with 64% of UK adults, the equivalent of 33m people, saying they drink wine.

Keywords: WSTA, miles beale

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