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How important is the revenue from alcohol duty to the government?

In the last financial year, the UK government raised £10.7bn in alcohol duty, fairly evenly shared between wine (£4.0bn), beer (£3.3bn) and spirits (£3.1bn). Relatively little duty is raised on cider (£0.3bn) both because it is a smaller market, and because it is taxed at a relatively low rate.


The importance of alcohol duty to UK government revenue has declined over time. As figure 15 shows, alcohol duty receipts have fallen as a share of national income from above 1% in the 1980s to less than 0.6% today.[1]

As a share of central government tax receipts, alcohol duty has halved over this period, from 4% in 1980-81 to 2% today.[2]


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[1] HM Revenue & Customs (2016), ‘HMRC Tax & NIC Receipts’ <http://bit.ly/2mp9es8>

[2] HM Revenue & Customs (2016), ‘HMRC Tax & NIC Receipts’, op. cit., p. 3