Blog: Chris Brook-CarterInternal affairs

Chris Brook-Carter | 2 March 2004

An unusual battle is brewing in the UK drinks industry, as wine and beer producers look to curry favour with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

According to a report in the Financial Times last week, brewers and pub owners have taken the unusual step of claiming that wine was taxed too lightly compared with beer.

The gripe seems to stem from the fact that wine consumption has boomed over the last few years, while beer sales have been stagnant.

In fact brewers went so far as to say that the government could have added an extra £91m to the coffers in 2002 if it had taken account of the UK's increased consumption of New World wines.

The Wine & Spirit Association has of course hit back, claiming that it has been the loser because beer is taxed according to strength but most wine pays a flat rate, regardless of differences in alcoholic content.

Its a dangerous argument for the winemakers, as the trend in the UK has been away from lighter, less alcoholic wines such as Hoch towards stronger Australian brands, particularly reds.

That said, the beer industry has more to blame for its lacklustre performance in recent years than tax discrepancies. And as the industry in general battles against the grey market, across the board tax increases and threats to its advertising rights, a united front is sorely needed.


BLOG

Scotch is great, says Scotch Whisky Association

To support the release of its latest report, entitled ‘The Economic Impact of Scotch Whisky Production in the UK’, trade body The Scotch Whisky Association has released this video, highlighting the si...

BLOG

At Coca-Cola Co, it's not just the head count that's getting smaller

The Coca-Cola Co is in the middle of a major restructuring plan, affecting jobs around the world. The company is also downsizing its packaging....

BLOG

Polish vodkas prove their worth in Ukraine

One, perhaps minor, consequence of the conflict in Ukraine appears to be a fall in sales of Russian vodka in the country....

BLOG

Diageo distilleries welcome you to their virtual world

Diageo has jumped onboard Google's latest interactive maps and is opening up the virtual doors to four of its distilleries. ...

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?