Give rain-hit cider producers and their apple growers a break on duty, says national body

The damaging wet winter weather has strengthened the case for scrapping the Duty Escalator on cider in Wednesday's budget, the head of the National Association of Cider Makers has said.

Cider - image: A Rendle
Cider - image: A Rendle

"Many orchards remain water-logged and some trees will be lost and will need to be replaced, though the full extent of this will not be known until May or June," said NACM chair Paul Bartlett.

"This makes it even more important that the Duty Escalator is scrapped in this Budget, providing some particularly welcome relief to hard-hit producers and apple growers."

Last year, duty on cider rose by five per cent, yet government revenues increased by only two per cent, he pointed out.

"A further rise in duty would push up the cost of cider to consumers, reducing demand and penalising responsible drinkers. It would also mean less income for retailers and producers - and ultimately less revenue for the government, so it makes no sense to see it continue."

Dropping the escalator would give cider makers "the stability and confidence to continue to innovate and invest in rural communities", he added.


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