Clash over beer duty stamp plans

06 August, 2010

There has been fierce criticism of plans for the introduction of duty stamps on beer in a bid to fight duty fraud.

The Federation of Wholesale Distributors has called for the government to make it an offence to sell beer without a duty stamp.

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said the proposals were “completely over the top” and that the initiative would be “hugely costly”.

HM Revenue & Customs said there had been a drop in duty fraud with the introduction of the stamps on spirits in 2006.

A spokesman for the Scotch Whisky Association said: “We remain opposed to duty stamps in principle and believe there is little evidence to suggest that they are effective. We know from experience, however, that when the government believes there are issues around alcohol fraud, it is likely to consider duty stamps as being central to its response.”




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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