Too Much to Swallow

Excise Duty and Value Added Tax account for nearly 2/3 of the price of spirits sold in the UK. This excessive tax rate penalises domestic production, encourages consumption of nearly all imported goods, costs jobs in the domestic drinks industry, and encourages bootleg and smuggled alcohol consumption. The UK can solve this problem by cutting excise duties gradually over five years to reach equivalency with EU duties, harmonising UK and EU duties, and signalling the goal of tax neutrality between alcoholic drinks.


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