The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has called on Labour to work with industry to promote growth, cut red tape and deliver an environmentally sustainable agenda.

Following Labour’s landslide victory yesterday, the WSTA said it is targeting a “fresh start” with the new government as it remains determined the UK should stay at the centre of the world’s wine and spirit trade.

However, the trade association warned that if urgent action isn’t taken to “halt unnecessary changes to taxing wine and to clear up confusion over waste packaging regulations – businesses will be suffocated by complex and costly administration”.

The WSTA said that incoming changes to wine duty could be “fatal” for some businesses, and will result in further price rises for consumers.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “We are looking forward to working with a new administration that has rightly called for closer partnership between business and government to deliver economic growth.  It feels like a fresh chapter and a chance to move away from the increasingly disconnected and heavy-handed approach of the previous government towards a closer and more collaborative working partnership with Labour.”

Beale said Labour has pledged to support business with a stable policy environment and an approach to business taxation that allows long-term planning.

“We agree and are calling on new ministers to stick to these principles for the lifetime of the new parliament – starting with making permanent the temporary easement for wine duty and delaying the ‘Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)’ scheme to ensure it is fit for purpose.”

Majestic CEO John Colley joined Beale in calling for the new government to keep duty easement.

He also said he hopes yesterday’s result will bring with it some “much-needed” political certainty and stability for the country, and provide a boost for consumer confidence.

“For retail specifically, we are the biggest private sector employer in the UK, but we haven’t been getting the level of support and engagement that our status as an industry deserves,” Colley added. “That needs to change under the new Labour government. We are a proud island of shopkeepers and we want to drive growth, create new jobs and breathe new life into our high streets, but we can’t do that without support from Westminster.  

“We urgently need the new government to reform the business rates system. It’s been a problem for years and has been highlighted as a contributing factor for a number of major retailers who have gone out of business over the past two decades. The tax has become archaic in a world of multichannel retailing, it’s been crying out for reform for a long time, and I would urge the new government to finally deliver a fundamental review after years of seeing the can kicked down the road.”

In beer, the Society of Independent Brewers and Associates (SIBA) welcomed the new government.

“The people of the UK have clearly spoken for the need for change,” said SIBA chief executive Andy Slee. “SIBA stands ready, and looks forward to working with the new government in Westminster and across the UK in helping independent brewers be a part of their plans for sustainable economic growth.

“Independent breweries are a hugely valued force for good in local communities and right now, more than ever, need support to compete against the global beer giants that control the market, as well a tax system which sets a level playing field for pub and brewing businesses to grow.”