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UK MPs come together to support call for cut to wine duty

Published 22 November 2016

Members of Parliament in the UK from different parties have urged the government to provide a level playing field for wine and cut excise duty.

The MP’s have called for a duty cut to wine to support jobs and growth.

Ministers have been urged to make MP's representations to the Chancellor and not to leave the wine industry unnoticed and unprotected.

Tim Loughton MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Wine and Spirit Group, said: “We need some help on duty. This year, wine was the only alcoholic product to receive a duty rise. Duty on wine has gone up considerably over the last 10 years. The duty per average bottle of wine was £1.33 in 2007; it is now £2.08. “

Another MP Nick Herbert of Arundel and South Downs also called for a cut and urged for equal treatment for wine.

Herbert said: "Wine duty was frozen at one point, but generally it has increased, and that has a negative effect that could be addressed. I hope that the Minister will join us in making representations to the Chancellor to support the industry by lowering wine duty.”

People in the UK currently pay £4bn in wine duty in the UK, about £2.08 per bottle of still wine or £2.67 for a bottle of sparkling wine.

About 55% of the cost is taken up in duty and VAT for the average bottle on supermarket shelves. Wine drinkers in the UK pay 67% of all wine duties collected by member states in the EU.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association CEO Miles Beale noted that the UK wine industry is worth £17.3bn in economic activity, employs 170,000 people and contributes more than £9bn in tax to the public finances from its 30 million consumers.

"With Brexit and projected inflation adding to the burden for UK businesses and likely to increase costs to consumers, now is the time to act. Evidence clearly shows that reducing the UK’s excessive wine taxation leads to an increase in Treasury revenues.”

Image: UK MPs unite and urge the government to cut taxes on wine. Photo: Courtesy of The Wine and Spirit Trade Association.