Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced that most alcohol duties will increase in line with RPI inflation in August 2023. This is the default position each year, however duty has been either frozen or cut every year over the last decade, apart from 2017.
Hunt also announced an increase in the draught duty relief, in order to specifically help on-trade alcohol providers. One of the aims of this policy is to try to reduce the increasing gap in price between on- and off-trade alcohol.
The announcement states: “Alcohol Duty: freeze rates until August 2023 then up-rate by RPI and increase Draught Relief to 9.2% for beer and cider and 23% for wine, other fermented beverages and spirits.”
In response to the announcement, IAS’s chief executive Dr Katherine Severi said:
“Cuts and freezes to alcohol duty have cost the public purse more than £8 billion over the past 10 years. Today’s announcement by the Chancellor that most alcohol duties will rise by inflation will raise revenue for vital public services. We welcome this decision.
“With alcohol deaths at their highest level on record, now is more important than ever to focus on improving health by tackling cheap alcohol.It’s high time the alcohol industry started paying its way towards the cost of alcohol harm.
“We urge the Government to continue to prioritise public health by keeping alcohol duty in line with inflation going forward.”