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Government inquiry launched into impact of duty on wine industry

Published:  12 February, 2009

A top government committee is to examine the impact of tax changes on the UK wine industry as part of a wide-ranging inquiry.

The influential All Party Parliamentary Group on Wine and Spirits is inviting submissions from the UK wine trade on what impact the increases in duty excise rates has on the sector.

It will also investigate the prospective impact of further tax rises scheduled by the alcohol tax escalator that will increase taxes by 2% above the rate of inflation for the next four years.Taken together it will see excise duty increase by as much as 40% by 2012.

Noticeably the committee will also investigate what impact the tax increases are having on Treasury revenues. Figures from HM Revenue and Customs suggest the Treasury is failing to meet its forecast revenue from excise duty on alcohol. From April to September 2008, HMRC revenue missed government targets by £137 million pounds.

The committee recognises the wine sector is already having to cut jobs and
wants to assess the role of tax hikes within this.

Anyone interested in submitting information must supply written evidence by February 24. An oral evidence session will also be held at Westminster on February 26.

The committee hopes to be able report back on its findings sometime in March.

The inquiry will be co-chaired by Andrew Dismore MP and Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP. The key questions to be examined include:

? What impact have tax increases had on employment in the wine and spirits industry?
? What impact have tax increases had on Government revenue? Will the tax escalator cause an increase or decrease in revenues?
? What impact have tax increases had on the prospect for future investment by the wine and spirits industry in the UK?
? What impact have tax increases had on consumer behaviour, choice and enjoyment?

To submit written evidence to the inquiry, please contact:
Tim Cork
Office of Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP
House of Commons
Tel: +44-207-219-5043