Budget 2017: Alcohol duties set to rise as the chancellor makes no changes to planned increases

 
Courtney Goldsmith
Follow Courtney
GBR: Binge Drinking Causes Health and Anti Social Concerns
Britain's alcohol industries aren't happy with today's announcement (Source: Getty)

Alcohol duties are set to rise as Philip Hammond today said he will make no changes to "previously planned upratings".

The duty rates on beer, cider, wine and spirits will increase with inflationary rises, or 3.9 per cent.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said the rise will cost pubs around £125m. Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: "Beer tax has now risen by 43 per cent the past ten years. This latest rise will mean 4,000 fewer jobs this year, mostly in pubs."

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) added that a bottle of wine will go up by 8p, sparkling wine 10p and an average priced bottle of spirits will shoot up 30p.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA said today's result was disappointing and said it was a missed opportunity to back British business.

Beale said:

It is disappointing that the chancellor has failed to support a great British industry. He has increased what were already excessive and unfairly high rates of duty for the UK’s wine and spirit consumers and businesses.

The added uncertainty of another Budget in six months’ time is unwelcome and will further undermine business – and consumer - confidence.

Colin Valentine, Camra's national chairman, said: “The announced two penny a pint increase marks a return to the days when the much-hated beer duty escalator contributed to 75,000 job losses, 3,700 pub closures and a 24 per cent fall in beer sales in pubs. The rise in beer duty will ultimately hit consumers in their pockets and lead to pub closures across the country."

Some relief

Today Hammond also announced a pub-specific relief on business rates. He pledged all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 - that's 90 per cent of pubs - will be given a £1,000 business rate discount.

However, this relief is only for the first year. Simmonds said it is "vital that this is extended in future years".

Related articles