TaxPayers' Alliance goes to war so Brits can continue to buy wine at a fair price

The TaxPayers' Alliance is waging war on the UK government over the issue of alcohol duty, in an attempt to make sure it is possible to buy wine at a reasonable price in the years to come.

Under the rules of the Alcohol Duty Escalator, tax on alcoholic beverages rises each year by two percentage points above inflation.

The escalator has been in place since 2008, and is due to continue until at least 2015, unless the government decides to scrap it.

Already, wine duty has risen by 50% under the escalator, and will continue to creep higher at faster than the rate of inflation for a further two years or more.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, welcomes the move from the TaxPayers' Alliance.

He says: "We are facing further rises of around 5% in this year's Budget ... It is important that we send a clear message to Government."

The move would not only help people to buy wine at sensible prices from their local wine merchants; it would also apply to pubs, where wine and spirits contribute 41% to total sales.