The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALM R) has responded to the government’s consultation on alcohol structures encouraging the Government to adopt an innovative alcohol duty system that encourages products to be sold and consumed within the supervised environment of pubs, bars and restaurants.
HM Treasury has been consulting on new bands for cider, perry and still wine to encourage incentives for the production and consumption of lower strength products. The ALMR argues that this would provide greater choice for the sector’s customers and support industry initiatives to facilitate healthier lifestyles.
The organisation has also highlighted future opportunities to reform the duty system, either through a revision of the current EU Directive or post-Brexit. This could include differential duty rates, allowing lower duty to be charged on drinks sold through the on-trade.
ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “New bands for lower-strength wines, ciders and perries could reduce costs for both producers and retailers and help stimulate demand for high quality on-trade drinks. Brexit provides the opportunity for a more creative look at the duty regime to further incentivise innovation.
“We have evidence to show that lower-strength products are predominantly consumed in the supervised environment of a pub or restaurant. If the Government is serious about promoting healthier attitudes towards alcohol, a tactic would be to promote responsible and supervised consumption within our venues.
“High quality products that come with a lower strength and reduced price tag could help precipitate a shift in drinking habits that aids businesses and supports the Government’s plans to promote healthier lifestyles.”