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Cut Back Wine Tax

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Cut Back Wine Tax

The hospitality industry – and its supply chain - has faced unprecedented crises in the past year. Hospitality has been, and continues to be, one of the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, and whilst initiatives such as the (now much-criticised) Eat Out to Help Out scheme and cut in VAT temporarily helped to drive consumer spending, much more needs to be done if this vital sector of our economy is to recover and flourish as we come out of lockdown. The Government needs to help these businesses by targeting effective fiscal support to assist them to get back on their feet, and to reclaim their place at the heart of our communities.

 

Wines, Beers and Spirits play a central role in our hospitality sector and whilst retail sales of alcohol have fared well in the supermarkets over the past year, sales through hospitality were down by close to 70% and many distribution businesses are on the brink of collapse. As we now look forward positively to the end of lockdown and the rebirth of our hospitality industry, the wine industry in particular faces genuine challenges; the ‘perfect storm’ of Brexit-related costs hitting home and a potential rise in duty in the forthcoming budget.  Combined with the fragility of the hospitality sector, these factors have the potential to irrevocably destabilise an industry, and its supply chain. The UK’s vibrant wine industry is in very real danger of losing its position in the global market.

 

Hallgarten & Novum Wines, together with many of our industry colleagues, are therefore asking Rishi Sunak to include a cut in excise duty on wine in the Budget, and to extend the temporary VAT cut for the hospitality industry to March 2022 and, vitally, to broaden this measure to include sales of alcoholic drinks. These measures will help to ensure that hospitality and wine industries operate under a fairer taxation regime, protect countless businesses and jobs, and help drive consumer spending during a time when it is vital we kick-start the economy.  

 

Wine duty has risen by 39% since 2010 and has not had a cut since 1984. Now is the time to level the playing field and support one of the UK’s most important industries.

 

Andrew Bewes

Managing Director, Hallgarten & Novum Wines