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Now or never call by WSTA's Miles Beale for trade to back Drop the Duty campaign

Published:  26 February, 2015

With less than three weeks to go before the Budget, Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, has made an empassioned appeal to the industry to act now and get fully behind its campaign to persuade the Chancellor to cut alcohol duty by 2% in his March Budget.

Beale believes there is still time to convince the Chancellor that a duty cut not only makes good economic sense, but will actually help him raise extra revenues and get more people in to work. 

There is even more urgency for the trade to fuly support the Drop the Duty campaign as there is unlikely to be a better time for some years to get the Chancellor to act and give the drinks industry the first real cut in duty since 1984. 

Members of the drinks trade can get behind the Drop the Duty campaign by simply going to the website,, keying in their postcode to find out who is their local MP and then pressing the send button which fires off a templated letter direct to the MP's email inbox setting out the economic, social and business reasons why a 2% cut is not only fair, but will help a UK industry directly responsible for employing 500,000 people.

Beale told "With just three weeks to go until the Budget, now is the time for the wine and spirit industry to come together and back our 'Drop the Duty!' campaign. Wine has not seen a tax cut in thirty years and spirits have received just two cuts in the last century.

"Whether you own run or work in one of our great industry's many businesses in the off or on trade, or are a consumer of its wonderful products, we need you to join us in calling in the Chancellor to DROP THE DUTY!"

He added: "The UK is Europe's biggest spirits employer and sixth largest wine market in the world. The wine and spirit industry deserves and needs government policies which both sustain and enable it to grow.

"Independent research by EY shows that by making a modest 2% cut in alcohol duty in next month's Budget, the Chancellor would provide welcome relief for the great British consumer, boost jobs and growth and generate over £1bn for the public finances and, of course, support the hospitality sector." 

He said that in a "crucial pre-election Budget", the "Chancellor has a unique opportunity to show he's backing a Great British industry".

Beale concludes: "We urge all readers to make their voice heard by joining the 'Drop the Duty!' campaign and emailing their MP at Thank You!"

WSTA Drop the DutyDrop the Duty