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WSTA calls on industry to help prevent wine being "singled out" at next budget

Published:  20 January, 2017

The body which represents the wine and spirits industry is calling on the industry to make sure that wine is looked on favourably at the next budget.

Wine was the only product to recieve inflationary rises in the 2016 Budget, and the year before in 2015 it was the only product not to receive a 2% cut.

In order to prevent this happening again, the WSTA is calling on the Chancellor to agree to a 2% cut for wines and spirits.

The WSTA believes that a 2% cut would boost the wine and spirits industry's economic contribution by £2.9bn and also increase Treasury revenues by £368m.

With higher inflation and the impact of devaluation and the potential for duty increases, the wine industry faces a "potential triple whammy that will be devastating for the trade in 2017" the organisation said.

In order to avoid this, the WSTA has sent a letter to its 300 members and asking to contact their MP about the issue.

"Politicians will need to see first-hand the breadth and value of the industry to the UK if they are to understand the positive impact a 2% duty cut can have for our businesses, consumers and - perhaps surprisingly - the Treasury," Miles Beale, the WSTA's chief executive said.

"On top of the UK's very high excise duty, wine has been singled out for worse treatment for a number of years and has been hit with historic duty rises of 56% since 2007. It now faces the triple threat of the pound's devaluation, rising inflation and further duty rises. It is vital each and every wine business gets involved and raises these issues with their MP."

The WSTA said it will be helping businesses to identify their local MP and provide data to support the effort.