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Small producers slip through the net for duty relief

Published:  14 October, 2022

WineGB has criticised the set up of the government’s duty relief scheme which effectively denies small wine producers support. 

In the recent mini-budget on 23 September, the government outlined its plans for a revamped alcohol excise duty system, part of which introduces a Small Producers’ Relief Scheme to enable a reduced level of duty for smaller producers of alcoholic beverages which allows them to compete against larger companies. However, the scheme only applies to products of 8.5% abv or below, which effectively excludes wine. Small cider and beer producers will benefit from these plans and in the case of the smallest cider producers, will be entirely exempt from paying duty. 

Simon Thorpe MW, CEO of WineGB, said: “Despite the government’s aim of creating a fair and simple alcohol duty taxation system, our wine producers have been inexplicably excluded. This potentially stifles growth in the fastest growing agricultural sector in this country and is fundamentally unfair to our small producers.”

WineGB and its 500 producer members are now calling on the Treasury to provide more support for the 900+ vineyards in the UK.

Thorpe added: “The vast majority of our vineyards and producers are small businesses and it is not right that they are being unfairly treated by being denied the support that beer and cider makers are afforded.

“In short, this is a British success story whose benefits stretch well beyond making wine and should be celebrated and supported, not left in the cold.”