WSTA Asks UK Government To Lower Wine And Spirit Duties
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) in the UK has called on the Treasury to reduce wine and spirit duties in the upcoming Budget.
It said that the industry already generates £17.5 billion in taxes every year.
The trade body said that it recently met with Financial Secretary Jane Ellison to explain why raising the duties on wine and spirits would be a 'triple whammy' for consumers, and suggested a 2% cut in the budget.
It said that the meeting was brought about by a YouGov poll that suggested that 71% of the public are concerned about rising inflation, with more than 80% over the age of 65.
'Staggeringly High Taxation'
The WSTA suggested that such a duty cut could raise the profit generated by the wine and spirits industry by £2.9 billion, contributing £368 million to the public coffers.
"Coming on the back of the already staggeringly high taxation in the UK, price rises driven by the increase in cost of imports due to the plummeting pound, and impending inflation, an increase in excise duty would badly damage consumer confidence," it commented.
WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said that Britons already pay more than 68% of all European still-wine duties and more than 27% of all spirit duties. He called it "deeply unfair", and said that a lack of government support would drive up costs and affect the 554,000 jobs in the wine and spirit industry, as well as its £17.7 billion contribution.
Dan Jago, chairman of the WSTA, added, "Having worked in the wine and spirit retail industry for 30 years, this is one of the toughest times the trade has seen, as it faces a future of uncertainty and inevitable price rises for imports from around the globe.
"We are asking for a modest 2% cut to wine and spirit duty, which is within the Chancellor’s gift, and which would give the trade the confidence that government is supporting British business. It will also give hard-pressed consumers a better deal."
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Karen Henderson. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.