WSTA calls for 2% wine and spirit duty cut

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Call: WSTA chief executive Miles Beale is urging members to lobby MPSs for a drop in duty
Call: WSTA chief executive Miles Beale is urging members to lobby MPSs for a drop in duty
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to cut wine and spirit duty by 2%.

The body has also challenged every UK wine business to lobby their MP to avoid wine being singled out for “worse treatment” by the Chancellor.

In the 2015 and 2016 Budgets, wine was the only product not to receive a 2% drop and the WSTA is warning the industry that without action, there is a chance it will be left out again.

A 2% drop would be worth 10p per bottle of wine and 13p for a bottle of sparkling wine.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “Politicians will need to see first-hand the breadth and value of the industry to the UK if they are to understand the positive impact a 2% duty cut can have for our businesses and consumers.”

Wine has been singled out for worse treatment

He added: “The only way they can do this is if businesses themselves engage directly with their local representatives.

“On top of the UK’s very high excise duty, wine has been singled out for worse treatment for a number of years and has been hit with historic duty rises of 56% since 2007.

“It now faces the triple threat of the pound’s devaluation, rising inflation and further duty rises.

“It is vital each and every wine business gets involved and raises these issues with their MP.

“We believe with an unprecedented and concerted effort by the industry we can convince the Chancellor to make the right choice to back British businesses and make the cut.”

Urging members to lobby local MPs

The WSTA has published a new, economic model to show that a 2% cut would boost the wine and spirit industry’s economic contribution by £2.9bn and increase Treasury revenues by £368m.

The association has developed a Budget support pack which it will send to all of its 300-plus members, urging them to contact and lobby their local MP.

The pack will also be sent to spirit members highlighting research that suggests a cut in spirit duty could provide a boost to UK distilleries of around £685,000.

Compared to an inflationary rise of 3%, it would be a saving worth 55p for every litre of spirits produced.

In November last year, trade associations wrote to the Chancellor ahead of the Autumn Statement​, calling on him to take action to support the pub industry.

Related topics: Wine, Spirits & Cocktails, Legislation

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