By delivering a freeze to wine and spirits in 2017 the Treasury landed a bumper tax windfall and at the same time helped cash strapped consumers and gave a boost to British businesses.
But the respite was short-lived. In 2018 the Chancellor chose to once again freeze spirit duty, but singled out wine for an unfair duty rise.
According to the Government’s recent Alcohol Duty Bulletin, in the last six months since the wine duty hike there has been a slump in wine sales leading to a 2.1% drop in revenue to the Exchequer – falling to £2.4 billion down from just over £2.5 billion. If the same rate of decline continues forecasts show the Treasury will lose £93 million in 2019 compared to 2018.
For beer and spirits, both of which received a duty freeze at the last budget, the revenue income was more positive with beer up 2.4% and sprits up 1.7%.
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