Did you know that when you buy a bottle of spirits, up to 80% of your hard-earned income, the same income that the government taxes, goes to... wait for it... to the government?! In fact, duties on spirits in the UK, the fourth-highest in Europe, have risen 44% in the past 6 years according to the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA), which has launched a campaign for lower taxes on wine and spirits with the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and Tax Payer's Alliance (TPA). The "Drop the Duty" lobbying effort would like to see a 2% decrease in the duty on wine and spirits in order to help local pubs and restaurants, those that have most felt the brunt of high duties, survive.
We here at the Craft Gin Club have conducted similar research specifically related to small, independent distillers and have started pushing for a progressive duty for distilleries based on production volume. The envisioned scheme would be similar to what already exists for the brewing industry which allows a 50% tax relief for micro-breweries as described here in the Financial Times.
When it comes to purchasing a bottle of craft gin, we have found that over 60% of the price goes directly to the government, raising the price of your craft gin significantly and placing a significant tax burden on small, independent distillers. The Spirits Business, a trade publication, covered our campaign.
If you would like to pay less for your wine and spirits at local pubs and restaurants while helping their businesses to thrive, then we encourage you to promote the Drop the Duty campaign by visiting the website and sending a message to your MP.
If you would like to pay less for your spirits from independent distilleries while helping them to thrive, we encourage you to follow our efforts to lower the duty for small distilleries by signing up to our weekly newsletter here and by becoming a Craft Gin Club Member. We work with independent distillers to get you the amazing gins that you won't find in your local off-license or supermarkets, gins with heartfelt stories behind them. After all, making quality spirits is a labour of love.