Cheers for The Treasury: UK Chancellor Sunak Plans to Scrap Taxes on UK Sparkling Wines and Beer

© REUTERS / PETER NICHOLLSFILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak holds the budget box outside his office in Downing Street in London
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak holds the budget box outside his office in Downing Street in London - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.10.2021
The development comes less than 10 days before the statesman is due to unveil his Autumn Budget which he hopes will speed up the British economy's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Previously the Government announced tax rises, which the UK economic think-tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, described as "the biggest" in decades.
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak plans to introduce an overhaul of taxes on alcohol, weekly publication 'The Sunday Times' reported, citing allies of the Chancellor. According to the newspaper, the Treasury deems the current 15-band system complicated and outdated and wants to simplify it, a move which may see the price of UK sparkling wines and beer slashed.

Under the proposed plan, tax on UK sparkling wine will be brought in line with still wine, which according to the present rules incurs a tax of £2.98 per litre for wine carrying between 5.5 and 15 percent alcohol by volume.

The new system will give UK sparkling wine an advantage over its more famous rivals Champagne and Prosecco and is expected to slash 83 pence off a bottle, 'The Sunday Times' writes. Beer prices are also expected to fall as Chancellor Sunak is reportedly eyeing a tax cut on kegs delivered to pubs. At the same time, the price of cider may rise as duties on the drink have remained frozen since 2017, something the Treasury reportedly plans to change.

The new tax system on alcohol may see varying rates depending on where the drinks are bought with pubs, cafes and restaurants seeing lower rates compared with supermarkets.

The proposed measures will be outlined in the Autumn Budget, which the Chancellor said will be unveiled on 27 October. Sunak previously asked government departments to identify "at least 5 percent of savings and efficiencies from their day-to-day budgets" as he is poised to speed up Britain’s economy, which has been damaged by the financial crisis wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

The government has already introduced a new social and health tax, which UK authorities said would bring in a further £12 billion ($16.2 billion) to the country’s coffers every year.
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