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Wine Drinkers UK urges Chancellor not to discriminate against working class and women

Published:  02 March, 2020

Wine Drinkers UK has called on the new Chancellor not to discriminate against the working class and women ahead of the next Budget on 11 March.

The call follows new research commissioned by the pressure group, which campaigns for lower taxes on wine, into British buying habits that revealed shoppers in the C2DE social class spend 55% more per year on still wine than they do on beer.

“Destroying the myth” that freezing only beer duty would protect lower income shoppers, Wine Drinkers UK said the Kantar research - based on the supermarket purchases of 30,000 people in the UK, called into question the long-held perception that “wine is a drink just for the middle class”.

In addition, further data showed that duty increases on wine was hitting women harder than it does men, with a YouGov survey of 2,000 adults, also commissioned by Wine Drinkers UK, revealing 39% of women list wine as their favorite alcoholic drink, with just 7% choosing beer or lager.

Among men, the order is reversed with 40% preferring beer and 16% preferring wine, showing that “the unfair treatment of wine when it comes to duty decisions is impacting women more than it does men”, said Wine Drinkers UK - a collection of wine lovers, makers and sellers.

The view that wine was “just enjoyed by rich people, and so wine duty rises are politically safe when compared with beer, is a total misconception”, said wine expert and Harpers columnist Joe Fattorini speaking for the group.

“Clearly, all social groups are suffering from the fact that duty on wine has risen over twice as fast as beer over the past 10 years. One group is being disproportionately penalised though, and it’s not the wealthy – it’s women. Whether conscious or unconscious, our politicians have been favouring men over women, and it’s now high time to put an end to that,” he said.

Taxe on wine in the last decade have increased nearly 40% - far outstripping the increases on beer (16%), as well as cider and spirits (27%).

Last month, several UK wine and spirit SMEs have united to urge the new Chancellor to cut wine and spirit duty by 2% to help boost British business.