Wine and spirit duty freeze boosts UK Treasury by £67m

A freeze on alcohol duty in last November’s Budget has resulted in revenues for the UK Treasury rising by £67 million in just four months, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

The latest HMRC figures show collections, from December to April, of £3.29 billion on wine, spirits, beer and cider, up from £3.22bn on the same period last year – a 2% increase – bringing in an additional £86m.

Of this, £67m came from wine and spirit sales alone, meaning that the wine and spirit industry accounted for 78% of the increase. Wine collections have so far increased £33m (+2%) and spirit collections increased £34m (+2%).

Overall, the Treasury expects to collect a projected £7.7 billion from wine and spirit revenues for the financial year 2017/18 – up by £140 million on the previous year.

If follows a freeze on wine and spirit duties in the November 2017 Budget, following a campaign by the WSTA and Scotch Whisky Association to prevent a duty hike. It was only the second time in 15 years that wine duty had been frozen.

The freeze in duty meant savings of 8p per bottle of wine, 11p on sparkling wine and 31p on an average priced bottle of spirits for consumers.

“We have always said a freeze to alcohol duty is a win/win for both the Treasury, the wine and spirit trade and consumers,” said Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA. “We hope the latest windfall to Treasury coffers coming from the Budget freeze encourages the Chancellor to continue to stay in touch with what consumers want and support an industry which is proving to be a real asset to British business by rebalancing the UK’s excessive duty rates in this year’s Budget.”

Revenue projections for the beer, wine, spirits and cider industries.

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