By Valeria Martinez
The government will scrap the planned alcohol duty increase for wine, beer and spirits, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng told the House of Commons at today’s Mini Budget.
“I have listened to industry concerns about the ongoing reforms. I will therefore introduce an 18-month transitional measure for wine duty. I will also extend draught relief to cover smaller kegs of 20 litres and above, to help smaller breweries,” he said.
He added: “At this difficult time, we are not going to let alcohol duty rates rise in line with RPI. So I can announce that the planned increases in the duty rates for beer, for cider, for wine, and for spirits will all be cancelled.”
In a report published alongside the speech, the government announced that it will also be freezing the alcohol duty rates from 1 February 2023 for one year to provide additional support to the sector.
The response to the consultation on the new alcohol duty system and draft legislation that will underpin the changes will be published today today, and launching a consultation on some further technical issues. The reforms will be implemented from 1 August 2023.
The government also said it will be introducing a digital VAT-free shopping scheme for visitors to the UK, which will aim to provide a boost to the high street and create jobs in the retail and tourism sectors.
According to the Growth Plan report, a consultation is currently underway and the design of the scheme will be delivered as soon as possible.
Inside the Chivas plant at Vale of Leven industrial estate in Dumbarton, where more than 500 people are employed.