Blog: Olly WehringUK Budget 2008 - Everyone's a... loser?

Olly Wehring | 12 March 2008

It seems fair to say that today’s Budget announcement here in the UK has pleased precisely no-one in the drinks industry.

While beer and wine prices are set to rise, the latter by GBP0.14 per bottle, spirits companies have borne the brunt, with a 10% leap in duty – the first rise in over a decade. The reactions flooding into just-drinks towers today really do suggest it is the end of the world out there.

It would appear that the Government has caved into demands from the British Medical Association to distance itself from the drinks industry to handle what the body has called “the UK epidemic of alcohol misuse”.

Could this really be a case that all that hard work by the industry to try to curb the excesses of the British public has failed? Has the Government thrown the towel in, only to pick up the blunt instrument of increased taxation?

The drinks companies themselves seem to think so, but I’d appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

But, please, try and keep them cheery – I’m beginning to feel like Eeyore, reading the reactions.


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