The Chancellor has pledged to increase taxation on alcohol by two percentage points above inflation. The Retail Price Index rose to 3.7% in January, and the Consumer Price Index to 3.5%, raising the possibility of a 5% increase in duty in the forthcoming Budget.
WSTA chief executive Jeremy Beadles urged Exchequer Secretary Sarah McCarthy-Fry to postpone the tax escalator, given the fragile state of the industry and the wider economy.
He said: “While other industries have had a helping hand over the last couple of years, we and the millions of consumers who enjoy our products have been hit again and again by tax increases.
“Enough is enough. We know the public finances are in difficulty but pushing up prices with higher taxes does nothing to help British consumers or businesses battling to recover from the recession.”