The alcohol industry is up in arms against a Tory proposal to raise taxes on alcohol by up to 10% in a bid to combat binge drinking. The proposal was announced by Conservative leader David Cameron earlier this week as part of plans to overhaul the family tax credits system.
In a letter to shadow Chancellor George Osborne (pictured), five trade associations have expressed concerns over the proposed move. The letter questions whether the tax hike will be able to solve the problem of alcohol misuse.
The British Beer & Pub Association, the Gin & Vodka Association, the National Association of Cider Makers, the Scotch Whisky Association and the Wine and Spirit Trade Association also say the tax could have a damaging effect on businesses in the sector.
The British Beer & Pub Association director of communications Mark Hastings adds: “Such a tax hike would do nothing to target or tackle binge drinking and everything to drive drinking underground. It would lead to a surge in booze cruise shopping, black market and illicit alcohol sales. It would drive drinking out of the controlled environment of the licensed market into the arms of the bootleggers.”
The initiative has been proposed under the new Tory policy review recommended earlier this week.