Drinks industry unites to fight tax increases

16 January, 2009

The five major drinks industry trade associations have joined forces to urge the government to abandon the tax escalator on alcohol due to start in March.

The want a pledge from the Chancellor that there will be no further increases in excise duty in this year’s Budget.

The alliance – formed by the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, the British Beer & Pub Association, the Scotch Whisky Association, the Gin & Vodka Association, and the National Association of Cider Makers – are to submit a joint submission to the Treasury calling for a rethink after last year’s 17% leap in excise duty.

They will argue that the tax increase has worsened the problems facing the sector during testing economic conditions, and that the drinks industry cannot cope with further increases in excise duty without cutting jobs and investment.

A spokesman for the five trade associations said: “It’s a bitter irony that a government which claims it is committed to helping business is forcing job losses with tax increases which are also failing to meet their revenue raising objectives.

“We are not asking for special treatment. We simply ask not to be punished by further tax increases at the worst possible time. The last thing any business in the UK needs is higher costs.”

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