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WSTA calls for ‘urgent’ alcohol duty suspension

Spirits

20/03/2020

According to The Spirits Business, The trade body is calling on the government to “urgently” suspend all alcohol tax for at least six months starting from next week when UK businesses will receive their first duty bill on 25 March.

This measure would allow UK wine and spirit companies to save around £5.8 billion (US$6.7bn), the WSTA added. The move will also benefit pubs and restaurants with wine and spirits sales in the on-trade, worth £11.1 billion (US$12.8bn) in 2019. The WSTA noted that the cash will be a “vital lifeline to help keep companies afloat and people in employment”.

On Tuesday (17 March), UK chancellor Rishi Sunak guaranteed a £330bn (US$398bn) package of loans and grants to help businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.

Sunak’s new measures mean venues with pandemic insurance cover will be able to claim insurance. For those without insurance, Sunak announced cash grants of up to £25,000 (US$30,000) to support them while members of the public have been advised not to attend pubs, clubs and social venues.

A 12-month holiday on business rates will also be extended to all companies within the hospitality sector, as well as retail and leisure.

The WSTA said Sunak’s pledge to extend business rates relief is “extremely helpful” but the trade body is calling for “urgent clarification on whether these measures will be extended to those businesses that supply the UK’s pubs, bars, and restaurants”.

The trade association also said the support package did not address hospitality workers. The WSTA is calling for a “comprehensive” employment package to help workers across the UK’s pubs, bars, and restaurants.

Read More at source: The Spirits Business

Image Source: The Spirits Business

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