(Note: Pre Budget article)
Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing & Shoreham (West Sussex) yesterday wrote an article on the website ‘Conservative Home’ where he pleads with George Osborne to lower the duty on Wine & Spirits at the next budget by 2% because “Who doesn’t deserve to enjoy a responsible glass of wine at the end of a hard week?”
He claims that 600k jobs are dependent on the wine industry and that a cut to the duty would see the industry boosted and jobs secured and more money put into the hands of the producers. It’s said that in every £5 spent on a bottle of wine just 47p goes into the hands of the producers.
Mr Loughton goes onto say “Consumers deserve less tax, We are the party of working people”. Well this move may result in less tax but that wont result in less money coming out of the pockets of “working people”. For the producers to increase their own profits they are not going to pass on that saving to Mrs Bloggs on a Friday night. The cost will increase again otherwise you couldn’t say the business’ will profit. You can’t via a tax cut both simultaneously say the paying public and the companies will profit. Unless it really is the political ideology of trickle down economics at play.
No, this is about big business and international trading and has nothing to do with you, the actual ‘hard worker’ out on a Friday night.
He blames the last Labour government for such high alcohol prices on a system they implemented called the Alcohol Duty Escalator (ADE), “and as all good Conservatives know, it was an awful idea. Recognising that it placed an unnecessary burden on the average person and his or her cost of living”
That was introduced at a time when alcohol abuse in the country was at an all time high, teenage pregnancy rates were sky rocketing and it was generally seen that the UK had a huge problem on its hands with underage drinking. We won’t go into the reasons here why that came about but let’s just say it had little to do with Labour. Maybe Mr Loughton would care to pass comment on that?
So now perhaps it has served it’s purpose and something does need to change but to write an article as if it’s the hard working man in the street who will benefit is just simply false and a smoke screen for business to make more profit and thus in the end give the Chancellor more money to spend.
On the face of it that might be a good thing if you believe in trickle down economics.
But there is one other reason why Mr Loughton may be pushing for cuts to wine duty. He is the chairman of the all party wine and spirits group (APPG). If it does end up lowering the cost of a bottle of wine that can only be a good thing on those wild Tory nights out.
On one final note, we mention again his quote regarding the ADE and the “unnecessary burden on the average person and his or her cost of living” that it has brought. Perhaps those words should be ringing in his ears as he reflects on his cuts to the most vulnerable in society when voting to cut ESA and PIP payments.