Report says Compared to France and Italy Combined, UK Consumers Pay more in Tax on their Christmas Booze

According to a study by the wine and spirits industry, more than half of the average Brit’s Christmas drink bill will go the taxman.

According to research by the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA), U.K. consumers pay more in alcohol duty than most of their European Union (EU). In fact, in comparison to the typical consumer in Britain, festive shoppers in Italy and France pay less in alcohol tax even when they are combined together.

“Comparing the wine and spirit tax regime in the UK to that in France puts the UK’s high rate of excise duty firmly in the spotlight,” Miles Beale, chief executive of WSTA said in a note.

WSTA says that £88.19 or 51 percent of the estimated the average seasonal shop for alcohol in the U.K. goes directly to the Treasury and the estimated amount is £171.66 ($213.20).

Even though the media contacted HM Treasury after the research figures were released, they were not immediately available for comment.

two bottles of champagne, two bottles of sparkling wine, three bottles of spirits, two bottles of port, 24 cans of beer, and 12 ciders was the typical haul made during the festive season by the Brits, the wine and spirits industry calculated.

On the other hand there are expectations that the price of alcohols is set to rise amidst Brexit talks.

As a consequence of manufacturers and importers amending costs in reaction to the Brexit vote and the slide in the value of sterling, the WSTA has forecast the price of alcohol in Britain is set to increase in 2017.

Primarily due to the fact of the heavy losses sustained on the U.K currency after the country voted to leave the EU, the pound has taken a beating in 2016.

“In the New Year, we should be under no illusion that prices will rise. In addition, with inflation levels rising to 1.2 percent in November, spirits prices will increase and wine will be hit again,” said Beale.

“And that is also why it’s vital there is no increase to duty on wine and spirits at the next Budget in March. The Chancellor can provide welcome relief for businesses that have some extremely testing times ahead,” he added.

(Adapted from CNBC)

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