UK government to take £4bn from wine drinkers

The British government is set to rake in £4 billion from British wine drinkers in duty tax this year alone – a new record amount.

They won't be so cheery when they realise that more than 50% of the price of their wine is likely going to government coffers (Photo: Wiki)

They won’t be so cheery when they realise that more than 50% of the price of their wine is likely going to government coffers (Photo: Wiki)

The Office for Budget Responsibility says the record tax collection is the result of British wine drinkers having to pay 55% of the price of an average bottle in taxes.

The new record won’t last long though, as by 2020 the tax collected from wine drinkers will grow by 25% reaching £5 billion, the government’s fiscal watchdog is predicting.

Tax on wine in the UK is the second highest in Europe, according to trade body the WSTA, which also says that Britain pays two-thirds of all wine tax gathered in the EU.

The taxes also seem to unfairly target those who buy wine at around the average retail price, currently between £5 to £7, as duty charges proportionally get smaller as prices get more expensive.

The WSTA is campaigning for a cut in wine duty ahead of the government’s budget, which will be announced later this month.

Along with the WSTA, which represents the UK’s wine and spirit trade, the British Beer and Pub Association, the Campaign for Real Ale and the Scotch Whisky Association are also putting pressure on the Chancellor George Osbourne to lower what they call “punitive” drinks taxes.

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