I think this is the first time i have started a thread but i think the proposals for wine duty due to be applied from 2023 will be of interest to all of you. These formed a significant part of the PR surrounding the budget and yet as wine drinkers we will see costs rise sharply, with beer seeing reductions and spirits broadly neutral. This was vaunted as:
- Reducing Red Tape
The reality is that the proposals fail on all counts. Charging duty by ABV is not inherently bad but becomes bad when their is no clear and consistent rationale for application. Wines and fortified wines from 11.5 degrees bear the brunt of these changes. Retailers will differ a little in their mix, but these changes will add £1.7m to TWS duty bill - a staggering increase.
It is not simple - we calculate that we will move from 2 duty rates to 38
It is clearly not fair across the beers wines and spirits category.
The red tape associated with this is breathtaking. Every wine retailer will have to plan major systems up-grades, it is very difficult to determine exact alcohol content in any event, and the paperwork and labelling changes will be onerous. This is difficult for us, but i pity a smaller enterprise facing into these demands.
The much vaunted Australia Free Trade Deal used wine to illustrate the benefits to UK consumers. With these changes we could see £1 going onto the price of a higher alcohol Australian wine.
I form part of a small group along with the WSTA who are opposing these changes and you may have seen the start of the PR campaign at the beginning of the year. Meetings with ministers and civil servants are at an early and so far unproductive stage.
I post in order to start a discussion, but for those of you inclined to write letters to newspapers, this would help our push enormously.