Alcopops were hit by harsh measures in this year’s Budget, with a 40 per
cent tax increase that will force prices up by 7p or 8p a bottle.
The sector has been penalised for its controversial appeal to under-age
drinkers, and major brewers are outraged that alcopops are being used by
the Chancellor to raise money and win favour with the public at the same
A Bass Brewers spokesperson commented: ‘The Chancellor purports to be
discouraging under-age drinkers but this is a bogus excuse. Research
shows that alcopops are a poor fifth choice for young people who prefer
cider, wines and spirits - the very drinks that have had their duty cut
Spirits distillers won out for the second year in a row.
Kenneth Clarke, who delivered his Budget speech with a glass of whisky
in his hand, announced a decision to drop tax on spirits by 4 per cent,
or roughly 26p per bottle.
United Distillers UK applauded the move, which comes at a time when
spirits are moving wholesale into TV advertising. Andy Neal, its
consumer marketing director, said: ‘The Government is sending a powerful
signal to world markets where discrimination against UK spirits
Beer duties have been frozen, disappointing brewers who have lobbied
hard for a reduction in taxes to combat cross-Channel trade.