The price of a bottle of wine could increase by 44p from this summer after the chancellor opted to freeze taxes on beer but signalled punishing increases for wine and whisky.
Jeremy Hunt promised a “Brexit pubs guarantee” in his budget, with the discount rising from 5% to 9.2%, although the chancellor offered scant detail on a longer-term pledge of a “Brexit pub guarantee”.
The duty cut will shave 11p off draught beer compared with beer sold in supermarkets. “British ale is warm but the duty on a pint is frozen,” the chancellor quipped.
Wine and whisky producers failed to see the funny side as they were left reeling by a double-whammy of soaring duties, warning the chancellor’s plans would “stifle British business”.
A blanket alcohol duty freeze will end on 1 August, meaning levies will rise in line with inflation at 10.1%. The effect on prices will be coupled with increased duty on higher strength drinks planned as part of reforms of alcohol duty unveiled in 2021.
This will mean a 44p increase in the price of a bottle of wine with an ABV of more than 12.5%, according to the Wine & Spirits Trade Association (WSTA), while a bottle of vodka could rise by 76p and port lovers will be £1.30 out of pocket per bottle.
A smaller number of drinks will go down in price, including 14p off a 5% pre-mixed can of G&T and 7p off sparkling wine at 12%, while the government has said there will be transitional arrangements for the hardest-hit products.
Nevertheless, the WSTA chief executive, Miles Beale, warned that the “crippling” rises in the price of most drinks would further fuel inflation.
“It will heap more misery on consumers. And it will damage British business, especially those in the hospitality supply chain, who are still trying toRead more on theguardian.com