Wine and spirit duty cut ‘needed to stem pub closures’

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Duty cut urged: the WSTA claims a wine and spirit duty cut would boost pubs
Duty cut urged: the WSTA claims a wine and spirit duty cut would boost pubs

Related tags: Wine

The Government has been urged to cut wine and spirit duty by the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, a move it says will benefit pubs.

The trade body urged Chancellor Sajid Javid to slash duty by 2% at the next budget, on the 11 March 2020. 

Wine and spirit sales in the UK are worth £6bn to pubs alone, which averages out a £120,000 per pub. 

A freeze to both wine and spirits in 2017 helped pub businesses, the body said.

However, a wine duty hike six months ago has led to a slump in wine sales, a rate that, if it continues, would mean the Treasury will lose £93m in 2019 compared to 2018, according to the WSTA. 

Duty on beer, cider and spirits was frozen by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond in his 2018 Autumn Budget yet wine duty was hiked in line with inflation.

Huge employers

Wine & Spirit Trade Association chief executive Miles Beale said: “The popularity of wine and spirits has a hugely important role to the revival of British pubs. 

“The ‘ginaissance’ has led pubgoers to enjoy an increasingly diverse range of gins and, similarly, as the quality of food served in pubs has improved, so have wine menus. 

“But we are not out of the woods yet. Pubs are vital to local communities and employ more than 500,000 people in the UK and to continue to stem the closures pubs have seen in recent years, we are calling for a 2% cut to wine and spirit duty.”

Gin sales were up 40% by volume and 42% by value over the past 12 months, according to the latest numbers from the WSTA.

Related topics: Spirits & Cocktails, Wine

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