UK: Higher Tax for Alcohol

On Wednesday 12 March, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling, announced that duty on alcoholic drinks has been increased by 6% more than the rate of inflation. In his address to the House of Commons, the Chancellor said:

"Mr Deputy Speaker, as incomes have risen, alcohol has become more affordable. In 1997, the average bottle of wine bought in a supermarket was £4.45 in today's prices. If you go into a supermarket today, the average bottle of wine will cost about £4. From midnight on Sunday, alcohol duty rates will increase by 6 per cent above the rate of inflation. Beer will rise by 4p a pint, cider by 3p a litre, wine by 14p a bottle and spirits by 55p a bottle. Alcohol duties will increase by 2 per cent above the rate of inflation in each of the next four years. Mr Deputy Speaker, it is only because I have taken these decisions on alcohol and on closing tax loopholes that I am able to provide additional support for families and lift more children out of poverty."

Responses from Institute of Alcohol Studies, Alcohol Health Alliance, British Medical Association, and British Liver Trusthttp://www.ias.org.uk/newsroom/uknews/news120308.html

Full Budget 2008: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget/budget_08/bud_bud08_index.cfm

Related information:

Bennetts, R (December 2007) “ Use of Alcohol as a Loss-leader”, Institute of Alcohol Studies Briefing Paper, http://www.ias.org.uk/index.html

British Liver Trust (February 2008) “ Binge Drinking for the Cost of A Sandwich”, Report into the unit price of alcohol in retail outlets