Wine prices spiralling and Chancellor won't care, says analyst

The average price of a bottle of wine rose 3.4% in December despite UK inflation increasing by just 0.5% during the month, according to Office for National Statistics figures crunched by industry analyst Tim Wilson.

UK consumers are benefiting from increased spending power as inflation increased at a lower rate than the rise in average weekly earnings.

Beer and spirits drinkers are reaping the benefits, according to Wilson, but wine drinkers are apparently worse off.

Wilson said: “Yet again it is the wine drinker who is having to pay higher prices for their favourite tipple. A range of factors, including the amount of supermarket discounts and the increase in duty on wine, means that wine prices continue to rise.

“The average bottle of wine for drinking at home now costs around £5.36, up 2.9% on the same period last year. Spirit drinkers who kept an eye out for sharper prices were able to pick up some great deals on litres of vodka, gin and whisky over the Christmas period.”

Wilson added: “The wine industry has started its campaign to get Chancellor Osborne to treat wine in a similar fashion to the beer category, which has enjoyed two successive cuts in beer duty.

“However in an election year we feel it is unlikely that Osborne will prioritise wine duty cuts over more obvious election sweeteners such as reductions in inheritance tax which killed off Gordon Brown's snap election plans a few years ago.”

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