At a meeting with George Osborne, Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, thanked him personally for his momentous decision to scrap the annual duty increase of 2% above inflation on wine and spirits after six damaging years.
Speaking after presenting the Chancellor with a framed message of gratitude on behalf of the industry, Miles Beale said:
“I believe it is important to give credit where it is due. The wine and spirit industry asked the Chancellor to listen and to take action for jobs and growth, and he did both. He scrapped a damaging mechanism of automatic year-on-year tax increases which was choking off job creation, undermining the industry’s competitiveness and hitting responsible drinkers unfairly. It will take time for the benefits to be realised, but I am confident that a Great British industry like ours can start creating jobs, generating growth and realising its full potential – all to the wider benefit of the UK economy.
“The wine and spirit industry already makes a significant contribution to the UK economy and society – and with continuing support, including at the next Budget, this Great British industry can contribute more.”
Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:
“I recognise the significant contribution the wine and spirit industry makes to the UK economy by providing employment and contributing to local communities. We need to support the community hub that is the Great British pub, including the increasing number which rely on wine and spirit sales as much as they do on sales of beer and cider. This Government believes in business because enterprise will sustain the UK’s economic recovery. I am pleased to see that the wine and spirit industry is playing its part.”