​Nightlife sector expresses frustration over UK alcohol duty rise

today01/08/2023 4

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The nightlife industry has responded to newly announced increases in alcohol prices across the UK, which is set to come into action today, August 1.

New rules will see alcoholic drinks in the UK taxed on strength as opposed to volume, with tax hikes of up to 20% added to drinks from today in a new plan established by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

The move could threaten the UK’s nightlife industry, many worry, as further increases in the prices of alcohol could deter people from visiting bars and clubs even further amidst the cost of living crisis.

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The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has condemned the government’s new plan explaining that it would “exacerbate” existing issues in the nightlife economy, which has already endured many unprecedented issues over the years.

“The recent actions taken by decision-makers to implement the biggest single increase in alcohol duty in almost 50 years, coupled with the wilful withdrawal of support and the imposition of already excessive taxes, have ignited anger and frustration across the night-time economy sector,” says NTIA’s Michael Kill.

He added: “I urge decision-makers to recognise the profound impact of their actions and the ripple effects they will have on our industry, workforce, and society as a whole.”

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New regulations would alter prices on alcohol such as wine and spirits more drastically, increasing the price of drinks over 12% volume by up to £1. Packaged beers and cans from shops across the UK are also likely to see a 10.1% increase.

Despite the increase to wine and spirits, the price of draught beer is set to be frozen, according to Ministers, who said that tax on beers could drop pint prices by 11p.

“We need to find solutions that address the challenges faced by our sector, not squeeze the life out of it,” Kill added. “Our industry is essential to the fabric of our communities, and a thriving night-time economy benefits us all.”

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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