Oct 7, 2018

(TDB) - A group of English winemakers have come together to call for a freeze on wine duty, which they argue is “excessively high” and unfairly restricting the industry’s growth while damaging rural communities.

Currently, 55% of an average priced bottle of wine sold in the off-trade is made up of tax and VAT. A planned 3.4% duty rise in this month’s Budget would add another 7p on a bottle of still wine, and 9p on a bottle of sparkling.

In the letter to the Chancellor and Environment Secretary Michael Gove, 14 of the WSTA English wine members have called on the Government to scrap planned tax rises to support the home grown English and Welsh wine industry, claims that its lack support for the industry is restricting growth and is damaging to rural communities.

“This action is necessary in order to support the current demand for English wine and the growth of the industry,” said Chris White, CEO of Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey.

“A duty freeze would also stimulate further our opportunity for export. We would like to see the Government adopt a model employed in all other EU countries where the lower duty rate has helped support the growth of their wine industry.”

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