Wine merchants push for alcohol duty cut in 2015

Wine merchants are once again urging the government to reduce the rate of alcohol duty payable on a bottle of wine or spirits, in order to cut the total percentage of the cost that goes straight to the Treasury.

Doing so would not reduce the Treasury's total take from the industry in 2015, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Rather, it would actually increase the total amount collected from the industry over the course of the year by £1.5 billion, if alcohol duty were cut by 2%.

This is based both on the direct collection of alcohol duty, and on the expected increase in corporation tax and VAT, general investment by thriving pubs, restaurants and wine merchants, and broader employment and supply chain benefits the move would bring.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: "By cutting the duty on wine and spirits at the next Budget, the Chancellor would provide welcome relief for the British public, boost jobs and growth, and generate an additional £1.5 billion for the public's finances."

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, pointed out that this is the Chancellor's last Budget before the general election - and the last chance to take action on alcohol duty.