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Duty to rise on wine, beer & spirits

The UK government has raised the duty on alcohol, tobacco and petrol to offset any benefits to the consumer from the reduction in VAT in Britain from 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent. The 8% duty increase adds 3p to a pint of beer, 13p to a bottle of still wine and 17p for sparkling wine. The Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) has calculated that with the lower VAT rate, the 8% duty rise will increase a £4 bottle of wine by five pence, a £5 bottle by 3 pence and a £6 bottle by one pence. Duty on spirits was also set to increase by 8% but in a U-turn the government reduced the increase to 4% after recognising that the higher duty on spirits would not be offset by the reduction in VAT and would result in a price increase for consumers.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the Wine and Spirit Trade Association have both condemned the duty increases at a time when pubs are struggling and the industry is being hit by the downturn in consumer spending.