Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, plans to impose a new tax on alcohol from February 2023, that taxes booze on its alcoholic strength rather than its volume of liquid or product type, and it is now claimed estimated that this will cost UK drinkers up to a further £300 million a year on top of what they already pay. This decision by the government is a move to encourage alcohol companies to refrain from increasing the strength of their products, in an effort to prevent “harm” to “public health” and to tackle “problem drinking”, and was taken last year. But research by a trade association now casts doubt on the full impacts of the planned change, which they say go way beyond penalising stronger drinks. Miles Beale, the chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, warned that the Treasury’s intended move would be “costly for consumers, who would see 70 per cent of all wines rise in price – 80 per cent of still wine, 95 per cent of red wine and 100 per cent of fortified wines”. Beale also suggested that this new tax will undo the benefits of Brexit for Britain’s wine industry, The Telegraph reports. “It’s a mystery to us why the Government is determined to drown any potential Brexit benefits under lashings of elective new red tape”, Beale said. Speaking to Breitbart London Adam Brooks, media commentator and pub owner, branded the new tax as a “perfect storm for so many Publicans”. “The pub industry is already facing a tough couple of years, with energy costs soaring, food & drink inflation, insurance premiums rising, increased wage costs, a National Insurance hike and VAT returning to 20%”, Brooks said. “For another Government policy to increase the costs of the majority of wines, it could be the nail in the coffin for many”, Brooks continued. A Treasury spokesperson speaking to The Telegraph attempted to justify the move by suggesting that while there was a higher “taxation of stronger beers, wines and spirits”, it now puts them on an “equal footing” which will make “many wines more affordable”, and they highlighted “English sparkling wine”, will be “slashed by 64p a bottle”. Punitive Green Policies: UK’s ‘Conservative’ Govt to Tax Meat and Cheese https://t.co/LTiBEiMp5Q — Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 5, 2021 So-called ‘sin taxes’ are becoming increasingly popular British governments, with the controversial sugar tax being introduced in 2018, and was later criticised for having failed to make a major impact on sugar consumption. Alongside this new alcohol tax, the government is reportedly considering a novel green sin tax which would tax all areas of life relative to how polluting they are. In the U.K. 23 per cent of electricity bills are already comprised of “environmental and social charges”, but the government is reportedly planning to extend these green taxes onto produce, with products such as meat and cheese in the firing line. This proposed tax does seem to be somewhat hypocritical as the proposal suggested cutting taxes on vegan and vegetarian foodstuffs to zero, despite the large carbon footprint many of these products, such as avocadoes, have. UK Govt Promises More Covid Giveaways, But Will Pay With Years of Tax Rises https://t.co/a5SdUPd5kq — Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 3, 2021 .
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