Calls for chancellor to cut wine duty

25 February 2021 by
Calls for chancellor to cut wine duty

The wine industry is calling on the chancellor to cut excise duty on wine and to extend the temporary hospitality VAT cut to March 2022.

Prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed yesterday that chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering a cut in beer duty ahead of the Budget next week.

However, according to Wine Drinkers UK, in the last 10 years tax on wine has risen more than twice as fast as on beer. Duty on wine has increased by 39% since 2010 compared to a rise of just 16% for beer. Over the last decade it is estimated that wine drinkers paid £4.6b more in duty than beer drinkers. The last cut in duty on wine was in 1984.

Jonathan Chierchia, co-owner of restaurant Frizzante Proseccharia, said a hike in tax would be a "further blow to businesses already fighting to survive".

Wine Drinkers UK is backed by wine producers, bottlers, retailers and enthusiasts, as well as representatives from the UK's hospitality sector, such as the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and trade body UKHospitality, operators including Hawksmoor and Corbin & King, as well as suppliers Jascots, Hatch Mansfield and Chapel Down.

A YouGov survey for Wine Drinkers UK found 43% of women drinkers listed wine as their favourite alcoholic drink, with 44% of men listing beer as their favourite drink. Women are also more likely to order wine in a restaurant, with 58% of women who drink alcohol saying they are most likely to order wine or sparkling wine, while 47% of men who drink alcohol said they would order beer in a restaurant.

Wine writer and broadcaster Helena Nicklin has said if the chancellor increases wine duty next week, it will unfairly impact women more than men.

The survey of more than 1,800 respondents across the UK found that, overall, one in three (32%) of UK adults who drink alcohol said wine was their favourite alcoholic drink, beating beer (25%) and spirits (25%).

Photo: Shutterstock

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