Wine industry launches push for duty cut

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Wine industry launches push for duty cut

Related tags: United kingdom, George osborne

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) is stepping up its efforts to encourage the Chancellor to reduce wine duty this year.

It is calling on the Government to cut the rate by two per cent in 2017, which would equal 10p off a standard bottle and 13p off sparkling wine.

But the group has warned that the wider wine industry must be more vocal about its issues or risk being overlooked in the Spring Budget.

Both George Osborne and Philip Hammond ignored calls from the WSTA​ to cut wine duty in their respective Budget’s last year.

Beer, cider and whisky duty was frozen in March, while wine was left to rise in line with inflation.

Taking action

The WSTA has written to its members calling on them to actively campaign for a cut in 2017 or risk being ‘singled out…for worse treatment by the Chancellor’.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, warned that rising inflation, the falling value of the pound and the potential for duty increases were a ‘triple whammy’ threat that could be ‘devastating’ for the UK wine industry in the year ahead.

He said: "Politicians will need to see first-hand the breadth and value of the industry to the UK if they are to understand the positive impact a two per cent duty cut can have for our businesses, consumers and – perhaps surprisingly - the Treasury.

"The only way they can do this is if businesses themselves engage directly with their local representatives.”

He added that wine had been singled out for ‘worse treatment’ for several years with duty rises of 56 per cent since 2007.

The WSTA is sending a support pack to its more than 300 members urging them to lobby their local MP.

“We believe with an unprecedented and concerted effort by the industry we can convince the Chancellor to make the right choice to back British businesses and make the cut,” said Beale.

Related topics: Business, Restaurants, Hotels, Pubs & Bars

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