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WSTA calls on government to halt £1b pubs tax raid

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WSTA calls on government to halt £1b pubs tax raid

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has found that pubs around the UK are to face a tax raid of £1b over the next five years.

According to figures from the Office of Budget Responsibility, the government plans to increase alcohol duty by over 3% a year for each year of Parliament – a cumulative rise of 18% up to 2022 which could see pub landlords hit with an additional duty bill of £4,374 each.

The increase would push pubs’ duty bill for wine and spirits up by an additional £110m a year by 2022. This means that pubs will have to find an additional £333m a year in duty payments by the end of the Parliament, on top of the nearly £2b a year that already goes to the Treasury.

The WSTA is urging Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, who has overall responsibility for pubs, to outline its concerns. Almost 30 pubs are closing each week in the UK, according to the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), and the added charges could threaten further closures.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “The government really needs to think again – the planned tax rises are potentially very damaging for British pubs. Higher duty rates means less money in the pocket of pub landlords, and unless the government acts, publicans will have to fork out over £4,000 extra each by the end of this Parliament.

“Our research shows that wine and spirits contribute nearly a third to a landlord’s alcohol income. The government should be supporting landlords, not punishing them, and the best way to do that is to axe planned duty rises on all alcoholic drinks.”

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