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WSTA Chief Executive, Miles Beale, comments on the duty freeze

Alcohol Duty Review | 20 December, 2022

The Exchequer Secretary, James Cartlidge MP, has re-instated the freeze on alcohol duty until 1 August.

The WSTA has campaigned extensively on the issues since the reversal of the freeze at the Autumn Statement.

We welcome the decision not to increase duty in February and the short-term reassurance it brings, avoiding the possibility of two duty increases next year.

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said:

“We are extremely pleased to hear that the Chancellor has listened to our calls not to deliver a double whammy tax hike next year. History has shown that freezing alcohol duty delivers increased revenue to the Exchequer. If duty rates went up by RPI on 1 February, this would have been a crippling blow to the UK alcohol industry and consumers who would have to pay the price for tax rises.

Delaying any increase until 1 August means businesses will not have to manage two duty rises in the space of 6 months.  We hope that any duty increases applied in August take into account the damage suffered by wine and spirit businesses and the hospitality sector during the pandemic. We are calling on Jeremy Hunt to cancel double digit tax rises to help cash-strapped consumers and to support the UK’s world-class drinks industry.”

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