Drinks industry hit by duty rise

24 March, 2010

Today’s Budget has dealt a major blow to the drinks industry as Alistair Darling announces a hike in alcohol duty.

The duty for beers, wines and spirits will rise by 2% above inflation from midnight on Sunday (March 28).

Duty on cider - which Darling described as “under-taxed” - will also be increased by 10% from Sunday night.

He added that changes will be made in September to the definition of strong cider and that brands with high abvs will be even more heavily taxed.

Darling ignored pleas from the industry to scrap the controversial duty escalator — meaning alcoholic drinks tax will continue to rise by 2% above inflation each year for the next two years, amounting to an overall rise of 5%.

In his third and final Budget before the general election Darling also announced tobacco duty will increase from today by 1% above inflation.




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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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