Following recent the rise in food prices, travel, bills and rent (basically: everything), we’re now due to see a price hike when it comes to alcohol, as alcohol duty is set to be unfrozen on 1 August – for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
In light of this, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has confirmed that the cost of beers, wines and spirits will rise to ‘stay in line with inflation’. Taxation on bottled beers and spirits is due to jump by up to 10%, and trade associations have said the extra costs associated beer alone will set the the alcohol industry back £225m (overall costs will be significantly higher).
To try and counteract this, it’s reported that some beer brands are looking to lower the percentage of alcohol in their products as a workaround and some have raised concerns that their favourite wines could disappear from shelves entirely.
“With business costs set to soar, it’s impossible to see how brewers can carry on exactly as they are whilst still avoiding customers paying over the odds for their beer,” said Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association.
McClarkin added that these price increases will hit at an “an already challenging time” as brewers have already been grappling with “mounting price increases across supply chains” in recent years.
As for wine, it sounds as though the stronger the percentage, the more expensive the price will be, with some bottles going up by 20% in cost – also partially owing to a new system of calculating alcohol duties based upon the strength of the drink (rather than the volume of the liquid, as is the current method).
Sky News reports that the taxation on the average 75cl bottle of 12.5 abv wine will be 20% higher in the near future, as per Simon Stannard, director of policy at the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.
“Alcohol tax rises will only further fuel inflation. It will heap more misery on consumers and it will damage British business, especially those in the hospitality supply chain, who are still trying to recover from the pandemic,” Stannard said, noting that hotter countries naturally create stronger wines, and will therefore be the ones “penalised most of all”.
As for beers on tap in your local pub, a government scheme states that their duties will be up to 11 pence less than bottled or canned products, so won’t increase by such a steep jump.
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