Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Brent Eleigh: Lavenham Brook vineyard owner calls for George Osborne to freeze alcohol duty

12:59 15 February 2014

Nick Thomson in the vineyard at Brook Farm, Brent Eleigh, near Lavenham.

Nick Thomson in the vineyard at Brook Farm, Brent Eleigh, near Lavenham.

A partner in a Suffolk vineyard is urging consumers to back a campaign urging Chancellor George Osborne to freeze duty on wines and spirits in next month’s Budget.

The online campaign, supported by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, the Scotch Whsky Association and the Taxpayers’ Alliance, is calling on the Chancellor to abandon the Alchohol Duty Escalator, which pushes up the rate of duty annually above the rate of inflation.

Mr Osborne won plaudits from the brewing industry after he scrapped the escalator in respect of beer in last year’s Budget, and actually cut the rate of beer duty by 1p.

Nick Thomson, a partner at Lavenham Brook Wines & Produce, based at Brook Farm, Brent Eleigh, near Lavenham, is now encouraging consumers to write to their MPs via the campaign website − www.calltimeonduty.co.uk − asking them to press for all alcohol duties to be frozen in this year’s Budget, scheduled for March 19.

Mr Thomson said he believed many people were unaware that about £14 of the price of an average bottle of whisky in a supermarket or around £3 on a typical bottle of wine went to the the Treasury in tax, adding that, in France, tax accounted for just 20% of the price of a bottle of wine, compared with 57% in the UK.

Brook Farm, which covers 160 acres bordering the Lavenham Brook, grows Bacchus and Pinot Noir grapes on its south-facing slopes and has won a number of awards, including gold medals in the UK Vineyard Association’s Wine of the Year Awards for its 2009. 2010 and 2012 vintages.

The farm also includes an orchard growing eight heritage varieties of English apples, which are pressed for their juice, and is home to two of the three breeds of farm animals which make up the Suffolk Trinity − a flock of Suffolk sheep and a herd of Red Poll cattle, which recently won the Red Poll Cattle Society’s Best Herd in the UK award for 2013.

“While politicians are starting to talk about the economy returning to growth, most of us are tightening our belts and trying to manage the relentlessly rising cost of living,” said Mr Thomson.

“As a local employer in the wine and spirits trade, I want people to be able to enjoy a tipple − responsibly − without feeling they can’t afford it.”

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

0 comments

Giffords Hall Vineyard feature. Including the use of drone technology to measure crop yield. Pictured is owner Linda Howard.

Vineyard owners in Suffolk and Essex say their industry has grown so quickly over recent years that the region may soon follow famous French appellations in seeking protected status for its wines.

Households are still spending more on leisure, but younger consumers a worried about their future finances following the vote for Brexit.

Britain’s households increased their spend on leisure activities last month, but many are concerned about the future impact on their finances from the vote to leave the European Union.

European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager speaking during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels.
Photo: AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

Technology giant Apple has vowed to overturn a record 13bn euro (£11.1bn) bill after a European Commission ruling that it has an illegal “sweetheart” tax deal in Ireland.

The newly rebranded Fenwick store, previously Williams & Griffin, in Colchester.

Colchester’s new-look Fenwick department store is to be officially unveiled on September 15 following a £35m redevelopment.

12-20 Upper Orwell Street, which could be demolished and regenerated if plans by the East of England Co-op go through

A derelict building in Upper Orwell Street which has been empty for decades could be set for demolition if new plans for the area are approved.

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24