The move, which would be popular with some sections of the industry, is already in place in the beer industry. The trade is already enthusiastic about promoting wines at strengths of around 12% but there is no tax incentive to do so, as the product attracts the same duty as wine at, for example, 14.5% abv.
Conservative backbencher Mel Stride asked the Treasury whether a sliding scale for wine duty was being planned, but Justine Greening, economic secretary to the Treasury, was unequivocal.
In a written answer she said: “There are no plans to introduce a sliding scale on rates for wine duty which are similar to that for beer. The Chancellor keeps all taxes under review as part of the Budget process.”