Monday, December 15, 2014


The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) and Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) today launched their ‘Drop the Duty!’ campaign, calling for a 2% cut in alcohol duty at the next UK Budget in March 2015.

This follows new industry analysis published by EY which showed a 2% cut in duty on wine and spirits would give Chancellor George Osborne a £1.5 billion boost to the public finances in 2015.

Drop the Duty campaign - Calling for a 2% cut in alcohol duty

The ‘Drop the Duty!’ campaign supported by the TaxPayers Alliance, unveiled today at The Punch Tavern in London, aims to raise awareness of the extremely high rate of tax UK consumers currently pay and mobilise the public to take action.

UK consumers currently pay nearly 80% tax on an average priced bottle of spirits and almost 60% on an average priced bottle of wine. On a category basis, that means 78% tax on whisky (£10.06 on an average bottle); 79% tax on gin (£10.03 on an average bottle); 76% on vodka (£9.48 on an average bottle); and 56% tax on a bottle of wine (£2.93 on an average bottle).

A 2% cut in duty would boost public finances by £1.5bn through increased investment across the industry; greater tax income from corporation tax and VAT; and from the benefits of jobs created in pubs, bars, restaurants, shops and the wider supply chain.

Key findings of the EY report include:

- A 2% duty cut would increase the wine and spirits industry’s contribution to economic activity by £3.9bn, from £46.6bn to £50.4bn.

- The industry’s direct contribution to UK Gross Domestic Product would increase by £0.9bn, from £11.8bn to £12.7bn.

- The wine and spirit industry directly or indirectly supports around 518,000 jobs in the UK in 2014, with the majority (69%) directly dependent on the industry’s activity.

Using the strapline, ‘Small drop, big cheer’, the ‘Drop the Duty!’ campaign is calling on all UK consumers to take action and speak out about the unfair level of tax by emailing their MP via the campaign website to urge George Osborne to make this modest 2% cut in duty across all alcohol products in Budget 2015.

Commenting on the campaign, Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: "The wine and spirit sector already makes a significant contribution to the wider hospitality industry and to the British economy. Independent analysis from EY shows that the sector’s economic contribution could be £3.9 billion greater if it weren’t for the UK’s sky-high duty rates.”

“By cutting the duty on wine and spirits at the next Budget the Chancellor would provide welcome relief for the British public, boost jobs and growth and generate an additional £1.5bn for the public finances. It is important that the Chancellor hears this message directly from consumers so I am encouraging all our supporters to make their voice heard by joining the ‘Drop the Duty!’ campaign and emailing their MP.”

For more information on the ‘Drop the Duty!’ campaign visit:

Source: WSTA