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

The just-drinks Weekly Round-Up

Here's a round-up of the top stories on just-drinks last week, featuring Carlsberg, Heineken, Coca-Cola Amatil, California's winelands and Cognac....

BLOG

Keurig 2.0 launch bodes well for the Coca-Cola Co

The Coca-Cola Co's Keurig Cold machine won't be out until next year. But co-developer Keurig Green Mountain has given us a taste with the unveiling this weekend of another at-home beverage platform, t...

BLOG

Normal service to resume on Tuesday

It's a bank holiday here in the UK on Monday (25 August). just-drinks' team will be taking a well-earned lie down. ...

BLOG

Will Russia ban bear fruit for Polish cider?

Poland is hardly noted for its cider consumption, but all this could be about to change. ...

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?