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Calling on wine and spirits producers around the world to back Drop the Duty campaign

Published:  13 February, 2015

Today Harpers is calling on wine and spirits producers around the world concerned about the high alcohol duty levels in the UK to get involved in the Drop the Duty campaign and have their voice heard by the Chancellor, George Osborne.

Harpers is linking up with the Wine & Spirit Trade Association to organise a petition of wine producers, distillers and those involved in all areas of the supply chain to bring those goods to the UK to help convince the Chancellor to cut alcohol duty levels in his March Budget.

The UK trade is already coming together to back the Drop the Duty campaign and send emails and letters to their local MP that set out the business and financial case for why a duty cut is actually not only good news for the drinks industry but also makes economic sense.

The Drop the Duty campaign is based on strong financial evidence by E&Y that a 2% cut would:

  • Unlock over £3bn in economic activity and £1.1bn of additional tax income
  • Support the English wine industry by offering tax incentives to vineyards that invest in the long term future of the industry
  • Support the UK spirits industry by making it a trade and investment priority, protecting its interests in trade negotiations and offering tax incentives to micro distillers

It also demonstrates how the UK wine and spirits industry is worth nearly £45bn in terms of economic activity to the UK and generates £14.5bn in tax revenue for the Treasury. It also supports 600,000 jobs in the UK.

But vitally for wine producers and spirits companies the UK offers a vital trading market which is currently being held back by the high duty rates that make it uncompetitive against other key markets around the world.

If you believe a duty cut would help your business in the UK and encourage you to trade more with businesses here then this is your chance to put your name to Harpers petition.

All you have to do is send a tweet to @HarpersWine stating "We call on the Chancellor to cut alcohol duty by 2% and make the UK a more competitive place to do business. @HarpersWine @DroptheDuty"

Or please retweet any tweets you see from Harpers sending out the same message.

We will then collect all the tweets and messages and send the list of participating companies to the Treasury and Chancellor George Osborne showing the international support and trading implications of a 2% cut in alcohol duty.

"The UK not only needs your wines and spirits it also needs your support in convincing the Chancellor that our country's high duty rates are as serious barrier to vital trade in to the UK from international businesses," said Harpers editor, Richard Siddle. "Please send us your tweet supporting our call for a drop in duty and we will take your message to the Chancellor."

* Anybody in the wine and spirits trade can lobby their MP and get them to back the campaign by simply going to the and emailing their MP. But why not also invite the MP to your business so that they can hear the story of an important company in their constituency. For ease there is a templated letter attached that you can personalise and send to the MP.

For more information go to our March for the Independents section of our website.