UK: Spirits main losers in UK Budget - industry "disappointed"
Taxes on alcohol in the UK have been raised markedly in today's (12 March) Budget announcement.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling has this lunchtime confirmed that alcohol duty will be increased across all alcohol categories, most notably spirits.
While beer duty will be upped by GBP0.04 per pint, and cider wil rise by GBP0.03 per litre wine will have its tax increased by GBP0.14 per bottle.
"In 1997, the average bottle of wine bought in a supermarket was GBP4.45 in today's prices," the Chancellor said. "If you go into a supermarket today, the average bottle of wine will cost about GBP4.00."
Spirits, meanwhile, were hit by a 10% rise in excise rates, equating to about GBP0.55 a bottle in the country.
All alcohol duties will be increased by 2% above inflation for next four years.
The move has received an expected thumbs-down from the drinks industry. ""The Chancellor cannot have it both ways," said Edwin Atkinson, director general of the Gin and Vodka Association. "Either he wants more revenue or he wants to reduce consumption. For spirits, he cannot have both. And given the huge increases in production costs, this increase is even more concerning."
The GVA dismissed the budget as one that "will not deliver".
"That the Government should commit itself and future Governments to an above inflation rate increase for alcohol for the next four years is hitting all drinkers for the sins of a minority," the association said. "It abandons the previous Government policy of creating fairness in taxation between competing alcohol drinks."
The UK units of Diageo and InBev, meanwhile, both described themselves as "disappointed" at the tax changes. "Our industry is already contributing over GBP21bn to the Treasury and is investing over GBP400m in Scotch production," said Benet Slay, managing director of Diageo GB. "This decision flies in the face of Government creating good domestic conditions for an industry so crucial to this country's economy."
"Worse, it penalises all responsible adults who enjoy a dram, a pint or a glass of wine."
The steep rise in alcohol duties announced in yesterday’s Budget, which the Government says will help to tackle binge drinking, follows the publication of its review of the 2005 Licensing Act last wee...
Amidst the doom and despond of the economic downturn, Diageo demonstrated its power and resilience by turning in full-year sales and profit growth. In the first of a special, two-part just-drinks inte...
The hardships facing the Zimbabwean population have become a regular and depressing feature of our news. Clemence Manyukwe reports from Harare on the particular problems that the country's sustained e...
Vodka is soon to take over from Scotch whisky as the most consumed spirit in the UK. But Chris Losh sees its success as a triumph of marketing over substance, and wonders whether consumer interest can...
The top ten most visited stories on just-drinks this week:...
Greene King has appointed a new managing director for its Belhaven beer and pub business in Scotland....
Global Brands has added a new flavour to its VK Vodka Kick range in the UK....
Pernod Ricard is to take its newly-acquired Vin & Sprit brands, including Absolut vodka, out of the Maxxium Worldwide network next month, prompting a global re-organisation of the distribution venture...
- Pernod's Portman Group penalty - a coincidence?
- A tobacco analogy soft drinks will want to embrace
- just The Preview - SABMiller's Q1
- Comment - Coke Life: Hit or Miss?
- just Five Years Ago: A-B InBev sells Oriental
- Diageo faces public consultation over W&M sale
- Remy posts Q1 sales drop as Edrington loss bites
- Bacardi to fight US football team legal action
- William Grant silent on Drambuie bid talk
- Distell to take 26% stake in spirits firm KHEAL