Free delivery when you spend more than £70

The self-defeating folly of the alcohol duty escalator

Politicians have always liked to tinker with taxes on alcohol. In 1895, the Liberal Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir William Vernon Harcourt, even tried to balance the entire budget on the back of an increase in beer duty. Thank heavens Mr Osborne doesn't appear to have that up his sleeve.

We Britons have thirsty tendencies, and these, according to the powers that be, must be managed. Sometimes, as in 1895, it hurts the drinks industry. Sometimes it doesn't - or at least not all of it. In 1860, for instance, another Liberal Chancellor, William Gladstone, lessened the duty on foreign wine in order to bring wine to the masses. Punitively high duties on wine, said Mr Gladstone, "stood like a wall of brass between the poor man and a glass of wine."

If only today's politicians shared the sanguineness of Mr Gladstone. The Alcohol Duty Escalator is set to cause yet more drink price inflation, with another increase expected in next month's Budget. The escalator mechanism has increased duty by 2 per cent above RPI every year since 2008. Taxes on wine have mushroomed by 42 per cent over that period and on those trends by 50 per cent after the Budget, according to the WSTA.

British wine drinkers and merchants are operating on an uneven European playing field, with the highest wine taxes in the EU. More than half of the cost of your average bottle of wine is taken by the taxman, compared to 17 per cent in France and merely 15 per cent in Spain.

If there is a moralistic and abstemious streak in politics then further hammering the on-trade (bars, pubs and restaurants to the layman) is catastrophically self-defeating. More than 26 million people drink wine regularly in wine bars and pubs; many million more drink beer too. Over £4 billion is spent every year on wine in these premises. Yet ever-higher alcohol duty, accompanied or not by a new MUP, will continue to drive drinkers into their homes with (relatively) bargain booze from supermarkets.

How sensible is that as a public health policy? There are no interested publicans - strictly regulated by licensing laws - standing over you as you guzzle a cheap bottle of Buck Fast on your sofa at ten o' clock in the morning.

Campaigners are already lobbying the Chancellor to act on 'beer duty' (a misnomer of sorts because there is no such singular thing), the WSTA is doing its bit to speak up for wines and spirits. Let's get behind them.

Comments 349

Jahesplach on

cialis 5mg canada posts
continuous use of cialis
cialis 20mg
– cialis from canada online sticky topic – cialis generic 10 mg
uk cialis onlineclinic

Doctaunk on

viagra daily dose amount
viagra from canada interests
viagra without doctor
– viagra vs viagra forum guestbook.asp?action= – cheap viagra without a doctor prescription
viagra line order

Zillieadure on

what is the deffirence between genric cialis and brand cialis
cialis generic online started by
order generic cialis 20 mg
– levitra dosage cialis vs levitra guest_book.htm – when will generic cialis be available
cialis in weston-super-mare

Zohandnuart on

viagra pills wiki skin by
viagra over the counter
– viagra and alcohol safe board index – viagra for men
viagra 5 mg online our newest member

Zohandnuart on

viagra free trial
viagra you cannot reply to topics in this forum
viagra vs cialis
– viagra ik – viagra coupons free trial
viagra online pharmacy rx no prescription

ZobertAlilk on

nevada title loans las vegas
renovation loans
cash advance com
– list of business looking for loans – cash advance tax refund
easy business loans with monthly revenue $5

JerezyLap on

payday loans no credit
ez payday loans
best payday loans for bad credit
– avant personal loans – same day payday loans no credit check
government low interest personal loans seniors jefferson city mo

Zrankjap on

buy levitra in uk
levitra 20 mg 12 table total posts
levitra dosage
– online pharmacy, levitra, levitra, uk – levitra coupon
levitra for women effects fees

SodneyMig on

daily viagra generic
viagra 10 mg 4 tablet display posts from previous
viagra for sale online
– viagra price in india title – viagra for sale cheap
viagra 20 mg 8 table posts per day

Zohandnuart on

scifil viagra tadalafil
viagra 20mg side effects register
viagra ingredients
– viagra for women blogs centro de informaciA?n – viagra coupon

Fazesnob on

buy viagra in slidell
order pills online no prescription
how much viagra should i take
– viagra daily – best place to buy viagra online
shout box latest message viagra

ZedricFAr on

viagra generic uk
viagra powder
generic viagra for sale
– http:&47;&47;;+13r+viagra – viagra for sale
viagra bivirkninger

ZobertHeway on

cialis generic online
cialis generic reviews system information
cialis over the counter at walmart
– cialis 10 mg effectiveness the team – order cialis over the counter at walmart
cialis frequency

Haronspess on

how many drops of cbd oil should i take
cbd oil
where to buy cannabis oil
– pure cbd oil – cannabis oil
cbd spray

Zasonemopy on

cbd oil benefits list
cannabidiol effects
pure cbd oil
– cbd vape pen kit – buy cbd oil
best cbd oil for sleep

Leave a comment

Read more

Stay up to date with Red Squirrel