Cider tax hike is unfair, says boss

MD Martin Thatcher

MD Martin Thatcher - Credit: Archant

A LEADING brewer has criticised the decision of Chancellor George Osborne to increase tax duty on cider in his latest budget.


Thatchers - Credit: Thatchers

Martin Thatcher, of Thatchers Cider, said he hopes the chancellor ‘puts it right’ next time he reviews alcohol tax rates.

Mr Osborne last week scrapped plans to raise beer duty by 3p per pint and ultimately knocked 1p off the price of a drink.

However he approved a 2p rise per pint of cider, to the disappointment of Mr Thatcher.

The chancellor’s announcement is the third consecutive year in which cider duty has risen by two per cent more than inflation. Similar hikes have also been levied on wine and spirits.

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Mr Thatcher said: “I suppose it doesn’t seem right that one particular group has had a reduction when another has had an increase.

“But hopefully next time he will address the situation and put it right. But what happens is entirely in his hands.”

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And Mr Thatcher, who runs the Sandford brewery, said there will have to be a time when the chancellor reviews his stance for fear of affecting businesses.

He added: “We believe we are a responsible producer and a business that is good for the local economy and I’m sure the chancellor doesn’t want to alter that.”

He said it was too early to say what the effects of the duty rise will be on both cider producers, drinkers and pubs.

He added: “Clearly every time duty goes up then that comes at a cost and that seems a bit hard given that pubs are finding times difficult. We have to look after the pub industry.”

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