Leading Restaurateurs Call For Cut In Wine Duty

A group from some of London’s leading restaurants have written to the Government calling for a cut to wine taxes to help the under-pressure hospitality sector.

They, plus representatives from other sectors are supporting lobby group Wine Drinkers UK, which is campaigning for wine duty to be cut. Their letter, delivered to Simon Clark, the Exchequer secretary, blames declining wine sales in the on-trade on rising taxation.

The group refer to data revealing sales of wine to have fallen by 4.6% or £146m in the last year, with the sale of still wine down by 7.7%.

They attribute the fall to the fact that duty on wine has increased by 12% since 2014, while duty on spirits has risen 2% and duty on beer has fallen by 0.2%.

The letter reads: It read: “Duty on wine has increased significantly more than on spirits and beer over recent years – by 12% since the government’s welcome decision to scrap the duty escalator in 2014, compared to 2% for spirits and a decrease of 0.2% for beer. In fact, the last time wine received a cut to duty was 35 years ago under chancellor Nigel Lawson.

“From our perspective, unfair duty on wine is adding to the many other pressures on the hospitality industry at present. Continual hikes to wine duty are making it more expensive for consumers, and indeed for some prohibitive, to enjoy wine in restaurants and bars.”

signatories to the letter are: Richard Bigg, managing director, Camino; Mark Derry, chief executive, Brasserie Bar Co; Razak Helalat, director, The Coal Shed and The Salt Room; Jeremy King, chief executive, Corbin & King; Mark Quick, wine director, Hawksmoor Group; and Charlie Young, director, Vinoteca.