The British follow suit and hit back over taxes

Tuesday October 08 2013 by Kelsie Adams

In much the same style as Vin et Société’s « ce qui va vraiment saouler les Français » campaign, the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) has recently announced the launch of a campaign against wine and spirit taxes in the UK. Although the WSTA is already accustomed to this type of campaign (why should responsable drinkers pay more ? in 2012), they will adopt a more controversial tone, with the tagline « Be fair, George » ! While Vin et Société were calling on the president and the prime minister, the WSTA (which represents more than 340 companies in the drinks industry) is addressing George Osbourne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The aim of the campaign is to get rid of the duty escalator in 2014 (rather than in 2015). The WSTA say that « since the alcohol duty escalator was introduced in 2008, tax on wine has increased by 50% » but the government removed the duty escalator on beer in 2013 claiming that the tax « on beer was bad for pubs ».

« The sector’s success provides £17 billion in tax revenues » for the government and the WSTA maintain that it is unfair to be penalised for being successful. Now we just need to see if this campaign is as successful as its French counterpart (which has already caused 2 of the 5 proposed measures to be overturned). The main subject of this British campaign is fairness, whereas the French one was more focused on the tradition of the wine industry and its survival in France.

 

[Photo of George Osborne : Screengrab from a video available on the Daily Mail]

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