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Distillers and bar owners call on chancellor to cut alcohol duty

Published:  05 February, 2024

A group of award-winning small distillers have penned an open letter to Jeremy Hunt calling for a cut to alcohol duty in the Spring Budget.

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Soapbox: Stirring up a duty storm

Published:  07 September, 2023

Bordeaux winemaker and British expat Gavin Quinney says UK duty is ‘even crazier’ than we first thought.

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Harpers indies survey reveals widespread price rises

Published:  30 August, 2023

Harpers’ latest survey canvassed the UK’s independent retailers to ask which cost pressures are affecting them most and to what extent. Now, the results are in – and we can the report that price rises have become a necessary evil for the majority of businesses.

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Scotch whisky maintains export boom

Published:  17 August, 2023

Scotch whisky has managed to maintain its momentum on the export market following a record-breaking year in 2022, with the first six months of 2023 bringing home over £2.5bn.

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Indies Survey: What’s the deal with duty?

Published:  17 August, 2023

Harpers wants to hear from indie retailers as to how the 1 August duty rises – and associated costs – are impacting business.

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Indies short-changed in government duty consultation

Published:  14 August, 2023

Independent merchants, long considered the backbone of the quality drinks trade in the UK, were woefully underrepresented among those consulted by government over the duty changes now hitting businesses.

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Lipstick effect brightens up sales of alcohol – until reality (duty) bites?

Published:  09 August, 2023

Economic depression tends to lead consumers to splash out on little luxuries. This is the idea behind the ‘lipstick effect’, coined by Estée Lauder’s Leonard Lauder to describe the rocketing rise of lipsticks in 2008, post the 9/11 attacks in New York and while global markets teetered on the brink of financial meltdown. By extension – and with the cost of living and wage stagnation pushing prices higher – alcohol still seems to fall within a comparatively ‘affordable luxury’ bracket.

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Over the line on duty

Published:  04 August, 2023

So, the deadline has come and gone – and despite an avalanche of criticism, including a letter sent by Hennings Wine owner Matt Hennings to his local MP in June, begging the government to wake up and smell the bonfire, the trade is now facing increases to the tune of 20% or 44p per 75cl bottle.

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Soapbox: Bracing for major change

Published:  14 June, 2023

With swingeing duty rises about to hit the trade, Hallgarten & Novum Wines’ MD Andrew Bewes looks beyond the headline cost and turns his attention to the challenges operators face when implementing the increase at ground level.

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Pacific trade pact overshadowed by domestic pressures, says WSTA

Published:  31 March, 2023

Confirmation that the UK has signed up to the Asia-Pacific trade pact will open new markets down the line for some in the drinks trade, but will offer little sustenance in the short term.

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‘Super stealth tax’ looms via Spring Budget

Published:  14 March, 2023

Industry heads are warning that wine drinkers could face rocketing prices if the chancellor goes ahead with a double-pronged tax hike, likely to be announced at tomorrow’s Spring Budget.

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Small producers slip through the net for duty relief

Published:  14 October, 2022

WineGB has criticised the set up of the government’s duty relief scheme which effectively denies small wine producers support. 

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WSTA celebrates LWF return, though "Recovery is not a given"

Published:  07 June, 2022

The WSTA struck a note somewhere between optimism and realism at the opening briefing of this year’s London Wine Fair, calling for “resilience and resistance” in order to manifest a more fully formed recovery of the wine and spirit trade post-Covid.

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Calls to review ‘punishing’ tax regime aired in Parliament

Published:  22 March, 2022

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has convened a meeting of MPs and Lords to hear first-hand from British businesses how the ‘punishing’ proposals for duty reform from three to 27 tax bands will negatively impact the drinks industry and consumers.  

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Hospitality cries for help

Published:  07 March, 2022

James Bayley dives into ‘quintuple shock’ looming on the horizon in April, as businesses call for more ongoing support to boost recovery.

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The taxing debate around duty

Published:  04 March, 2022

With the wine trade potentially facing a damaging new duty regime, Andrew Catchpole convened a panel at Wine Paris to ask: “Will the proposed new excise duties in the UK make wine unaffordable?”

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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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Wine Paris to feature Harpers debate on UK alcohol duty crisis

Published:  28 January, 2022

The upcoming Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris trade symposiums will host an Agile Media sponsored event, brining together key stakeholders in the trade to debate the impact of the government's proposed changes to the duty system.

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Broadcaster Helena Nicklin slams alcohol duty hikes as sexist

Published:  27 January, 2022

A member of the Amazon Prime series Three Drinkers has condemned Rishi Sunak’s proposed changes to the duty system as “punishing female consumers”, highlighting that wine is the most popular alcoholic drink among women in the UK.

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Trade urged to act ahead of duty review consultation deadline

Published:  26 January, 2022

With just four days to go before the 30 January consultation deadline on the UK Government’s proposed changes to the way excise duty on alcohol is calculated, the last chance to be heard is fast closing in.

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