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Inflation drains Treasury coffers by £600m

Published:  21 February, 2024

Soaring alcohol inflation has made an explosive hole in HMRC’s receipts, new figures reveal.

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Hospitality sales up 6% in Q4

Published:  02 February, 2024

New data from Fourth has revealed hospitality revenue in Q4 2023 is up 6.1% year-on-year.

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HMRC receipts from ‘sin taxes’ continue to fall

Published:  22 January, 2024

Tax revenues from so-called ‘sin taxes’ levied on alcohol, tobacco, gambling and sugary drinks have fallen to 3.1% of total UK tax receipts, according to HMRC figures for 2022-2023.

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Alcohol duty rises impact inflation

Published:  17 January, 2024

Last August’s duty hikes for wine and spirits have contributed to December’s unexpected rise in UK inflation, it has been revealed, as the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) announces that the rate for the sector is now three times higher than it was this time last year.

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Alcohol duty frozen until 2024

Published:  22 November, 2023

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has quelled fears of a second duty rise this year in this afternoon’s Autumn Budget, by announcing a freeze until August next year.

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Fears grow for second alcohol duty rise in less than a year

Published:  13 November, 2023

Wine and spirit businesses are calling on the chancellor to freeze alcohol duty until the end of parliament, when Jeremy Hunt delivers his Autumn Statement on 22 November.

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400 businesses demand alcohol duty freeze

Published:  06 November, 2023

Representatives of more than 400 businesses have written to the chancellor demanding an alcohol duty freeze in the Autumn Statement.

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Looking Back, Forging Ahead Q&A: Matteo Furlan, The Dorchester London

Published:  14 August, 2023

Mid way through 2023, Harpers is taking stock of yet another turbulent year for the drinks trade, with plenty of highs and lows, so far. We continue our series with Matteo Furlan, head of wines, The Dorchester London, to find out how the year as gone so far, and what the remainder may bring.

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Duty hikes: Details of government consultation revealed

Published:  11 August, 2023

The alcohol duty hikes on 1 August 2023 were the biggest the UK has seen in nearly fifty years and the changes will impact all wines across the country. 

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Nick Gillett: How the duty rise reveals the lack of duty to business

Published:  08 August, 2023

It doesn’t seem to matter what flavour of government you have at the moment – when it comes to the spirits and hospitality industries, there’s a stench of incompetence. In Scotland we have the incredibly public failure of the DRS scheme, which, as a result, has wasted millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money. But don’t be fooled – it really is no better, south of the border. Westminster will raise you a cock up, in the form of the increased duty rates.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: Alcohol tax, inequality and 40p wine

Published:  25 July, 2023

Everyone in the UK trade will be acutely aware that the new duty system comes into effect on 1 August, making most wine more expensive and all of it much more complex to administer. The negative effects will be exacerbated on 1 February 2025, when the tax banding will be divided further into an extraordinary 27 different segments, with some going up and some going down.

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Wine Society summer tasting: “We will swallow inflation and duty rises”

Published:  11 July, 2023

In April 2023, in what was described as an “industry first”, The Wine Society announced it would prevent price increases despite the effects of high inflation and rising duty costs.

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HMRC downplays wine duty pain

Published:  03 July, 2023

HMRC, the architects of the upcoming duty reforms, have released a ‘one-month to go’ reminder about the changes coming into effect on 1 August – though with one glaring omission.

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WSTA tells government 'It’s not too late to scrap hikes'

Published:  26 June, 2023

With just one month till the government’s alcohol tax hikes are effective, the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) has reiterated why the “crippling” duty increases should be scrapped.

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Government has “failed” the industry – now extend alcohol duty relief

Published:  16 May, 2023

Industry chiefs have expressed a modicum of optimism about potential changes to the current plans for the new duty escalator, which could possibly avoid plunging businesses into a tangle of red tape – if only the government continues (or maybe begins) to listen to reason.

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Government extends alcohol duty-freeze for six months

Published:  20 December, 2022

The freeze on UK alcohol duty rates has been extended six months to 1 August 2023, the government announced yesterday (19 December 2022).

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WSTA pens letter to Chancellor opposing alcohol duty u-turn

Published:  15 November, 2022

Over 100 business executives from across the alcohol industry have signed a letter written to the Times calling on the Chancellor to bring back the freeze on alcohol duty.

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Freeze on alcohol duty in mini-budget

Published:  23 September, 2022

Planned increases in alcohol duty have been ditched by new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng in his mini-budget, as unveiled on 23 September.

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Calls for Northern Ireland MUP to create a ‘level playing field’

Published:  16 August, 2022

Northern Ireland appears to be inching closer to the introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol after neighbours Republic of Ireland and Scotland introduced the legislation in January 2022 and May 2018, respectively. 

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SMEs hit back over government’s proposals to overhaul alcohol taxation

Published:  17 February, 2022

The Wine and Spirit APPG has published its SME Inquiry Report on the government’s ‘illogical and unfair’ reform to alcohol duty. 

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