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Women bear the brunt of UK tax increases

New analysis from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has found that the financial benefit that pubs might expect from the beer tax cut will be wiped out by the wines and spirits tax rises, with women bearing the brunt of the costs in both the on- and off-trade.

New analysis shows that if alcohol sales in the on-trade continue at a similar level to last year, pubs, clubs and bars will be paying almost £34m extra in tax in 2013/14 compared to 2012/13. By continuing the duty escalator on all other alcohol products the Chancellor has increased the tax burden across the entire trade by £292m.

Introduced in 2008, the alcohol duty escalator increases taxation by 2% above retail price index inflation each year. The latest 5.3% tax increase announced in Budget 2013 added another 10p to a bottle of wine and 53p to a litre bottle of spirits. Since the introduction of the duty escalator, wine duty has increased by 50% and spirits duty by 44% – adding an additional 67p to a bottle of wine and £2.38 to a 70cl bottle of vodka in just five years.

Women are expected to be hardest hit by these price rises, paying out some £65m more than men – 61% of the total. Figures show that 63% of what women drink is wine, compared to 33% for men. Women also drink more spirits than men – 22% compared to 13%. In comparison, 51% of what men drink is lager or ale – while this figure sits at 8% for women.

WSTA CEO Miles Beale said: "The Chancellor aimed to support pubs with a tax cut for beer in the Budget, but the fact is that his tax rises of over 5% on wines and spirits will wipe out the tax cut for beer and add another £34m to the tax bill for the on-trade. We are concerned that women look set to be penalised by wine and spirits price increases across the board, simply because they make different choices about what to drink."

by S. C.
23 april 2013, World News > Europe

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