Trade talk: Budget 2014 reaction20th March, 2014 by Lauren Eads
Following the Chancellor’s decision to scrap the controversial alcohol duty escalator in yesterday’s Budget, we round up reaction to the news from some of the industry’s most prominent figures.
Rather than automatically increasing by 2% each year, duty on wine and spirits will now rise in line with inflation saving the industry an estimated £175 million in additional duty payments, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).
The decision follows a successful campaign, spearheaded by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, along with the Scotch Whisky Association and The TaxPayers’ Alliance.
Since the alcohol duty escalator (ADE) was introduced in 2008, tax on wine has increased by 50% and by 44% on spirits which campaigners argued was costing the industry “vital jobs and unfairly hitting consumers in the pocket”.
As a result of the changes, wine duty is set to rise by RPI inflation (2.5%), instead of the expected 4.5%, and spirits duty and most ciders will be frozen altogether for at least this year.
The chancellor also announced a cut to beer duty of one pence per pint.
Scroll through to see how figures within the drinks industry have reacted to the news…