Bottle of wine 'to increase by 44p' in Spring Budget

14 March 2023 by
Bottle of wine 'to increase by 44p' in Spring Budget

The UK may experience the single biggest increase in wine prices in almost 50 years in tomorrow's Budget (15 March), according to a trade body.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) revealed that a bottle of still wine could go up by 44p, while a bottle of port is set to increase by £1.29 if the government introduces changes to its alcohol duty scheme.

It comes after The Telegraph reported that the chancellor is set to confirm alcohol duties will rise with inflation from 1 August.

Under the new regime, which will tax alcohol based on strength, 90% of still wines are expected to experience a 9% duty rise.

If this is combined with the end of the freeze to alcohol duty, currently due to occur on 1 August, the wine industry could be hit by a 20% tax rise.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, said: "The UK's 33 million wine drinkers are blissfully unaware that the price of wine is set to rocket this summer.

"If the chancellor goes ahead with a two-pronged attack on wine drinkers by adding an inflationary duty increase on top of the stealth tax already applied when the government's new alcohol duty regime kicks in this summer, duty alone will add 44p to a bottle of still wine.

"If alcohol duty rates went up by RPI, this will be a crippling blow to the UK alcohol industry and consumers, who will have to pay the price for tax rises during a cost of living crisis."

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, added: "If the chancellor fails to act on alcohol duty, tax on beer will rise to the highest it has ever been.

"At a time when many are struggling to stay open, no freeze or reduction in beer duty will send costs rocketing throughout pubs and breweries across the UK, causing irreversible damage to a sector that is already facing a massive squeeze in margins due to inflation and extortionate energy costs. This will leave businesses with no other option but to hike the price of a pint at the bar."

Follow The Caterer on Twitter @Cateretweets tomorrow for live coverage of the Spring Budget. More to come on The Caterer website too.

Photo: Hermes Rivera/Unsplash

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