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Still and sparkling wine faces triple whammy threat

By Nikkie Sutton , 14-Feb-2017
Last updated on 15-Feb-2017 at 10:18 GMT2017-02-15T10:18:09Z

Cut plea: the WSTA has called a drop in duty for wine
Cut plea: the WSTA has called a drop in duty for wine

Brexit, inflation and alcohol duty represent a triple threat to still and sparkling wine drinkers according to the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

Duty on a bottle of still wine is £2.08 meaning that for an average-priced bottle, more than half (55%) the cost is duty and VAT.

In the UK, £2.67 is paid in duty on one bottle of sparkling wine while in France the duty is just under 6p.

And for still wine, the French pay only 3p duty on a bottle.

UK prices set to soar

The WSTA has predicted an average-priced bottle of still wine sold in the UK could soar by 10%, the equivalent of 53p per bottle.

An average-priced bottle of sparkling wine is likely to go up 9%, adding 59p, and Champagne is expected to increase by 5%, adding £1 to the cost of a bottle, according to the trade body.

The UK alcohol industry is one of the most heavily taxed in Europe with wine drinkers forking out 68.4% of all wine duties collected by all 28 European Union member states, despite only accounting for 11% of the population.

Triple whammy for consumers

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “With Brexit costing 29p per bottle and rising inflation indicated by the Bank of England last week adding a further 17p, further duty rises could make it a triple whammy for consumers who are already paying a staggering amount of wine and spirit duty.”

The WSTA called for a 2% cut in wine and spirit duty last month (January), which would be worth 10p per bottle of still and 13p per bottle of sparkling wine.

Beale said: “There is now less than a month to go before the Chancellor of the Exchequer unveils his Budget and we are urging Philip Hammond to recognise the monumental challenge facing an industry that supports 270,000 jobs an contributes £19.9bn to the economy by making a 2% duty cut.”

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