Drinks trade hopes for duty cut cheer

By Mike Berry

- Last updated on GMT

The drinks industry is hoping for good news in today's Budget
The drinks industry is hoping for good news in today's Budget

Related tags Beer duty cut Alcoholic beverage

The drinks industry will be looking to raise a glass to the Chancellor later when he delivers his pre-election Budget.

Brewers, cider makers, wine makers and spirit producers are all hoping for good news from George Osborne in the form of a cut in alcohol duty.

The British Beer and Pub Association has been campaigning for an historic third consecutive beer duty cut, arguing that the impact of the previous two cuts has led to new investment in brewing and pubs, widespread job creation and lower beer prices.

It has been widely trailed in the national press that another beer duty cut is highly likely.

BBPA chief Brigid Simmonds said last week: “There is no doubt that two cuts in beer duty have had a huge impact in supporting a British-based industry and in encouraging consumers back towards our favourite, lower-strength drink.

“With new investment in the beer category protecting pubs and creating jobs, it all adds to an overwhelming case for a third, historic cut in beer duty in the Budget.”


The National Association of Cider Makers is seeking a 2% reduction in duty, with chair Martin Thatcher stating that the investment cycle for cider makers is measured in decades, supporting the need for long-term stability and lower rates of duty.

““The innovation and investment of cider makers has delivered some success, however that progress is fragile and our scale is still small compared to other sectors, hence the need for a duty reduction in this Budget and the development of a long-term policy for our industry,” he said.

The Drop the Duty campaign​, run by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association and Scotch Whisky Association, is also calling for a 2% cut in duty. The campaign says that the combined industries are worth £22bn annually to the economy and the categories are of increasingly importance to the on-trade.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “A cut in duty would allow UK consumers to enjoy their favourite drinks at a fairer price and also allow pubs, which are increasingly driven by sales of wine and spirits, to thrive.”

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