Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Action Week 2: Call to indies to lobby local MP and media for a Drop in Duty

Published:  09 February, 2015

Harpers is today calling on independent wine merchants across the UK to lobby both their MP and local media to back the Drop the Duty campaign and help raise the profile of their business on this key business issue.

Harpers is today calling on independent wine merchants across the UK to lobby both their MP and local media to back the Drop the Duty campaign and help raise the profile of their business on this key business issue.

As we start the second Action Week of the March for the Independents campaign, Harpers hopes independent wine merchants will play their part by directly lobbying their local MP to back the trade's Drop the Duty initiative.

Email your MP

Independents simply need to follow this link to the Drop the Duty website , put in the postcode of their local MP, and send them a direct message calling for their support. 

Harpers is also giving independents the chance to have their say and raise the issue directly with their local MP and press and regional media by sending our templated letters - one to the MP and one as a "Letter to the Editor" to their key local papers and TV and radio stations. Both are attached to this story as separate files or available via the hyperlinks. 

Write to your local media

The letters sets out the business case for the Drop the Duty campaign which is being spearheaded by the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, the Scotch Whisky Association and TaxPayers Alliance.

They make clear that independent financial research, by economic consultants, E&Y, shows a 2% cut in alcohol duty would actually raise £1.5 billion in extra revenue for the Treasury.

They show how consumers are now paying 60% of tax on every bottle of wine and 80% on a bottle of spirits. They explain how a 2% duty cut would actually boost the wine and spirit industry's overall contribution to the economy to the tune of £3.9 billion, from £46.6 billion to £50.4 billion.

Invite MP and media to your business

The letters also give independents the option of inviting their local MP, along with the local media, to their business so that they can both hear the personal business issues they might have for themselves.

The WSTA believes that if local MPs are contacted on five different occasions by constituents on a set issue that they are duty bound to take those concerns to the relevant minister. Independent wine merchants are ideally placed to not only raise their personal concerns with their MP, but to also represent the interests of the wider industry.

Together as an industry we can speak with a powerful voice and you can galvanise the support of your MP by telling them your story.

Independents can also play their part in educating and informing their customers about the levels of duty they have to pay on their average bottle of wine or spirits.

Why not download, print off and post up some of the point of sale material that has been produced by the Drop the Duty campaign to highlight the key eye catching facts and figures behind the initiative.

Action Weeks raise key business issues

This is the second Action Week that Harpers is running throughout February as part of its March for the Independents campaign. Last week in Action Week 1 we called on independents to look at ways they can work closer with their suppliers and urge them to sign up to the Harpers Best Practice Guidelines.

It was also an opportunity for independents to have their say and take part in our exclusive online surey looking at the key trading issues that matter to them,  what they would like to see more from the trade and what are the key sales trends in the independent sector. You can still take part in the survey here.

To follow the March for the Independents campaign simply go to the Campaigns section and week by week follow the different Action Weeks.

Action Weeks 3 and 3

Action Week 3: February 16-22

Get on top of your business. Download specialist advice and key information on the latest business, employment, tax, duty and wine laws that effect your business.

  • Action Week 4: February 23-March 1

Get on top of what you sell. Assess the latest off-trade and on-trade data and sales trends to see which styles of wine, countries and price points are most on trend and most appropriate for your business.

The campaign will culminate in a one day business conference for independent wine merchants in London on March 3 where merchants will get the chance to network, share their experiences and hear from top industry experts covering finance, tax, employment, business and wine law.