It is estimated that the freeze will save the wine and spirits industry around £247m and will help the sector re-invest and grow.
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has warmly welcomed the chancellor’s decision to freeze wine and spirit duty during the budget today (22 Nov).
Philip Hammond made a u-turn on his unpopular plan to increase wine and spirit duty by RPI inflation for a second time this year.
Instead the chancellor has chosen to listen to the WSTA’s call to support our great British industry and British consumers with a festive friendly freeze on 1 February 2018.
The WSTA has calculated that the change in government policy will save the UK wine and spirit trade around £247m. The wine and spirit industry supports 554,000 British jobs and generates £50bn for the UK economy. It already contributes over £7.5bn to the treasury in duty alone.
Introducing the duty freeze in today’s budget the chancellor highlighted his support for the great British pub, where wine and spirit sales now account for 36% of alcohol sold across the bar.
The freeze will mean that duty on an average priced bottle of still wine will remain at £2.16, sparkling wine stays at £2.77 and duty on an average priced bottle of spirits, at 40% abv, remains £8.05.
It is only the second time in 15 years that wine duty has been frozen.
The WSTA argued that a freeze or a cut was a win/win for both the treasury and the wine and spirit industry, which has been proven in previous budget success stories.
After a freeze in wine duty in the 2015 budget, wine duty income increased by £136m (+3.6%) the following year and after a 2% cut in spirits duty that year, spirits duty income increased by £124m (+4.1%) over the same period.
Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, said: “We are pleased that the chancellor has found his festive spirit and listened to the call from the WSTA and its members and has frozen wine and spirit duty.
"He has shown the government is in touch with what consumers want and is supporting an industry which is proving to be a real asset to British business.
"He has recognised that rebalancing the UK’s excessive duty rates is a win/win for both the treasury, the wine and spirit trade – not to mention consumers.
"This decision will be celebrated by millions who will raise a glass this festive season!”
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