UK Winemakers: Mr. Osborne, Take Down That Tax!

Wine and spirits producers in the United Kingdom are urging Chancellor George Osborne to cut the kingdom’s wine and spirits duty by two percent, a move which financial titan Ernst & Young says will free up about £1.5 billion worth of money in the UK’s 2015 public finances, UK trade publication The Grocer reported.


“By cutting the duty on wine and spirits at the next budget the Chancellor would provide welcome relief for the British public, boost jobs and growth and generate an additional 1.5 billion for the public finances,” Wine and Spirit Trade Association Chief Executive Miles Beale told The Grocer.


The move to pressure the Chancellor is part of a joint effort between the Wine and Spirit Trade Association and Scotch Whiskey Association called “Drop the Duty!”


The campaign’s efforts will “highlight how UK consumers currently pay nearly 80 percent tax on an average priced bottle of spirits and almost 60 percent on an average priced bottle of wine.”


According to the Aberdeen- (Scotland) based “The Press and Journal”, those percentages translate into a nearly £3 pound fee for the average bottle of wine purchased by consumers, and an average of £10 for every bottle of whiskey purchased by consumers.

The “Drop the Duty!” has a website at which UK consumers can and send their local government representative an email persuading them to speak up for consumers who want to see the two percent decrease in taxes.


Also available on the website are various facts about the duty tax and what the economic landscape would look like with the decrease.


According to the site, the individual UK wine and spirits consumer spends an average of £329 per year in taxes on their wine and spirits purchases. The wine and spirits industry, the site said, pays about £17 million per year in taxes. 


“This is not only hurting hard-pressed consumers, but jobs and growth too,” Beale said in an interview with The Press and Journal. “The Chancellor has one more chance to be fair and cut the duty on wine and spirits before the election.”


Beale and his colleagues admit the chances of soliciting a duty cut are slim. According to the Drop the Duty site, it’s been 30 years since the last time the UK government agreed to lower the duty rate on wine and 18 years since the duty on spirits dropped.


Credit: Snooth – Articles


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