'Fairer' alcohol tax will send price of popular brands soaring

'Fairer' alcohol tax will send price of popular brands soaring

01/03/2022

Wine prices are set to soar under ‘fairer’ alcohol tax, experts say

  • Britain’s most popular bottles of wine set for a sharp price rise under tax changes
  • The tex changes are supposed to make alcohol duty fairer, it has been claimed  
  • Duty based on alcohol strength was a centrepiece part of the autumn Budget 

Britain’s most popular bottles of wine are set to see a sharp price rise under tax changes claimed to make alcohol duty ‘fairer’.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak flagged up duty based on alcohol strength as a centrepiece of his autumn Budget.

He and Boris Johnson hailed the changes which will – if any rising costs don’t wipe them out – deliver small price cuts on beer and cider bought on tap. 

Britain’s most popular bottles of wine are set to see a sharp price rise under tax changes claimed to make alcohol duty ‘fairer’

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured) flagged up duty based on alcohol strength as a centrepiece of his autumn Budget

A super-tax that applies to sparkling wine, prosecco and champagne will also be abolished.

But experts say the changes come with a sting in the tail for those who enjoy wine with a high alcohol – or ABV – level above 11.5 per cent.

Research by Wine Drinkers UK (WDUK) found 95 per cent of the most popular wines will suffer price hikes.

 For example, under a best case scenario, reds such as Hardy’s Shiraz (14 per cent ABV) would go up 58p to £7.58 and Barefoot Merlot (13.5 per cent ABV) would rise 47p to £7.22.

Popular whites, such as Hardy’s Crest Chardonnay (13 per cent ABV) would rise 35p to £7.35 and Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc (13 per cent ABV) would go up 35p to £8.35.

WDUK, a coalition of trade and hospitality industry bodies, sellers and experts, is fighting the changes, due to come into effect in 2023.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Simplifying duties is no bad thing but hiking taxes on our favourite wines will leave families short-changed.’

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