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Alcohol

Volume 707: debated on Tuesday 27 January 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they still intend to increase alcohol duties by 2 per cent over the next four years, as announced at the 2008 Budget, in the light of the greater increases announced in the Pre-Budget Report. [HL738]

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will take steps to ensure that alcohol duty increases are passed on to consumers in full; and what assessment they have made of the health effects that would have. [HL739]

Pricing decisions by alcohol manufacturers, retailers, pubs and bars are determined by competitive conditions in the relevant markets.

The revenue forecast published in the PBR assumes that changes in duty are passed on in full to consumers, as explained in annexe A, paragraph A.2.3 on page 131 of the 2008 Budget document. The Government do not see taxation primarily as a tool for reducing alcohol-related harm. However, the Government remain committed to tackling problem drinking.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the research by the University of Sheffield which found that a 10 per cent alcohol tax increase will usually generate a price increase of between 10 and 20 per cent. [HL741]

The review of the impact of alcohol pricing and promotion carried out by the University of Sheffield School of Health and Related Research was a systematic review of international evidence. This work reflects the assumption made in a number of other studies that alcohol duty increases are passed on in full to consumers.

In practice, pricing decisions by alcohol manufacturers, supermarkets, pubs and bars are determined by competitive conditions in the relevant market. Therefore, the extent to which duty increases are passed through to consumer prices will vary across different markets and different sectors.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of the calculations and assumptions made in terms of (a) consumption and (b) revenue, ahead of the changes to alcohol duties announced in the Pre-Budget Report. [HL742]

The calculations and assumptions on the effects of changing alcohol duties at the Pre-Budget Report were based on a HM Customs and Excise working paper, which is published on the HMRC website. The paper is available at http://customs.hmrc. gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/downloadFile? contentID=HMCE_PROD_008459.

A copy of this paper will be placed in the Library of the House. Although the Pre-Budget Report measures were intended to leave alcohol prices broadly unchanged, the analysis in this paper still applies as prices of non-excise goods will fall relative to alcohol prices due to the VAT rate cut.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much revenue was received from alcohol duty for (a) beer, (b) wine and (c) spirits in each month since January 2007. [HL743]

The revenue received from alcohol duty for beer, wine and spirits in each month since January 2007 can be found in the HM Revenue and Customs national statistics bulletins for beer and cider, made wine, spirits and wine of fresh grape, which are available from the HM Revenue and Customs website addresses at:

www.uktradeinfo.co.uk/index.cfm?task=bullbeer

www.uktradeinfo.co.uk/index.cfm?task=bullmadewine

www.uktradeinfo.co.uk/index.cfm?task=bullspirits

www.uktradeinfo.co.uk/index.cfm?task=bullfreshgrape

The figures are shown in the table below:

Revenue £ million

Year

Month

Total Beer

Total Wine*

Total Spirits

2007

Jan

319

185

170

Feb

178

164

127

Mar

197

166

142

Apr

296

221

168

May

240

193

175

Jun

284

221

197

Jul

254

214

165

Aug

242

223

177

Sep

306

220

183

Oct

227

192

167

Nov

276

259

270

Dec

274

280

318

2008

Jan

268

185

168

Feb

181

190

136

Mar

219

243

250

Apr

263

200

135

May

249

209

167

Jun

287

217

182

Jul

267

226

175

Aug

260

248

182

Sep

265

211

184

Oct

272

232

213

Nov

271

257

292

* Total wine includes wine of fresh grape and made wine.