Tax hikes could have ‘significant’ impact on spirits

The UK government must approach taxes on wine and spirits with “fairness” as any increase could have a “significant” effect on spirits, the MD for Campari Group UK has said.

Speaking on a panel of industry experts during the Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s (WSTA) 2019 Industry Summit last week, Brad Madigan, MD for Campari Group UK, said while he appreciates the need for the government to tax the industry, considerations must be made regarding what is a fair amount.

“I think with any excise duty we understand our government needs to collect revenue,” Madigan said. “But how do we create fairness?

“Wine and spirits seem to be the easy target. We want to have that broader conversation about what fairness looks like.

“Any move to increase [excise duties] could have a significant impact on spirits.”

During the 2019 Industry Summit, which took place at the British Library in London on 18 September, the panel also discussed the potential impact Brexit could have on the wine and spirits sector.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, slammed the UK government during his opening speech for its “lack of political leadership” and advised the industry to continue preparing for a potential no-deal Brexit.

Earlier this month, the UK government revealed alcohol and tobacco products would be available to purchase duty-free for UK travellers to the EU following a no-deal Brexit.

Last month, the recently-formed UK Spirits Alliance urged spirits producers to write to their MPs calling for a duty freeze and “reform of the duty system”.

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