UK drinks tax discriminates against women, finds research
By Mathew Lyons
20 September, 2019
The unequal distribution of duty on wine and beer is biased against women, according to research conducted on behalf of campaign group Wine Drinkers UK.
Duty on wine has risen by 39% since 2010, while duty on beer has risen 16%.
But women overwhelmingly prefer wine to beer, a survey conducted for the group by YouGov shows. Some 39% of women list a variety of wine as their favourite alcoholic drink, while only 7% choose a kind of beer. Among men, the figures are 40% for beer and 16% for wine.
The survey showed a similar pattern with regard to drink consumption. Over the last year, 84% of women drinkers have consumed wine, but only 68% have drunk beer. For men, the figures are 78% and 91% respectively.
Commenting on the research, Helen McGinn, author of the Knackered Mother’s Wine Club book and blog, said: “The facts are indisputable: alcohol duty decisions by the government over the past decade have consistently been more favourable to beer drinkers than wine drinkers, and means that our politicians have been favouring men over women.
“This bias – whether conscious or unconscious – now needs to be addressed. It is time to give wine drinkers a break and cut back wine tax.”
The survey also challenged the myth that wine is exclusively a middle-class drink. Among C2DE women, wine was the preference of 34% with beer the choice of just 7%.
Wine Drinkers UK is newly-formed group which campaigns for an end to the unfair penalisation of wine drinkers at the next Budget. Its supporters include Joe Fattorini, Treasury Wine Estates and Concha y Toro UK.