Romance is in the air, but drinkers in Britain will be disappointed to discover that next Valentine’s Day, the booze could be more expensive.
The UK drinks industry predicts higher alcohol duties will be introduced over the next year as the pound continues to weaken and inflation continues to rise.
The impact of the Brexit vote on the country’s economy is largely to blame for the imminent price increases, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) said today.
Champagne and prosecco are likely to cost £1 and 59p more per bottle respectively.
A bottle of still wine could go up by 10 percent; an additional 53p.
UK consumers already pay more than their European counterparts. The French spend just 3p duty on a bottle of still wine compared to the £2.08 paid by Brits.
“With Brexit costing 29p per bottle and rising inflation indicated by the Bank of England last week adding a further 17p, further duty rises could make it a triple whammy for consumers who are already paying a staggering amount of wine and spirit duty,” said Miles Beale, WSTA’s chief executive.
With less than a month to go until chancellor Philip Hammond unveils his Budget, WSTA will be putting pressure on the UK government to announce a two percent alcohol duty cut.
In 2016, 131m bottles of bubbly were purchased from UK shops and supermarkets – up 13 percent on the previous year.
However, more than 9m people in England drink more than the recommended daily limits, according to Alcohol Concern, a UK charity working to reduce alcohol harm.
The charity is calling on the government to increase the duty on high strength cider, given there have already been 1,067 alcohol-related deaths in England this year.
There were an estimated 1.1m alcohol-related UK hospital admissions in 2014/15.