Duty freezes on all alcohol for only second time in 20 years

GIN and tonic drinkers will be celebrating today after an increase in spirits duty was frozen for only the second time in 20 years.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak also confirmed in the Budget 2020 that duties for cider and wine drinkers will be frozen as well.

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Speaking today, Mr Sunak said: "For only the second time in almost 20 years that is every single one of our alcohol duties frozen."

The Chancellor also announced a £1million budget for marketing Scottish whisky overseas, plus additional relief for pubs.The announcement from Mr Sunak comes after some 40 members of the UK Spirits Alliance, which represents whisky and gin makers, wrote a letter demanding action from the Chancellor.

Britain’s spirits are among the most highly taxed in the world with £3 in every £4 going to the Treasury.

There are currently more than 18,500 people employed in the spirits industry, according to a report by BiGGAR Economics.

The UK's booming gin and whiskey business has recently come under pressure after the US slapped 25 per cent tariffs on Scotch whisky.

Generally speaking, the duty on spirits automatically goes up every Budget unless the Chancellor freezes or cuts it.

The Conservatives promised that the tax system will "support British drink producers" in their election manifesto last year.

A pledge to review alcohol duty rates was also mentioned in the Queen's speech in December.

More to follow…

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