Budget 2014: Aspall praises ‘long overdue’ cider duty freeze but calls for ‘level playing field’ as Chancellor cuts beer price
PUBLISHED: 19:07 19 March 2014 | UPDATED: 19:07 19 March 2014
ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC © 2009
Suffolk-based cider company Aspall welcomed a “long overdue” freeze in cider duty but urged the Chancellor to reduce the levy after raising concerns he is favouring the beer industry.
After increasing cider by 2p a pint when retaining the duty escalator last year, George Osborne today froze the duty on spirits and ordinary cider.
And Barry Chevallier Guild, a partner in the family-owned business in Aspall, called on the Chancellor to go one step further next year and announce a cut in cider duty in line with the beer industry after welcoming the “long overdue” freeze.
“There should be a level playing field – and not one (sector of the alcohol industry) being favoured,” he said.
“We were not expecting a reduction though as we have learnt over the years not to expect anything like that to happen but they (the beer industry) got a reduction for the second year in a row and it is up to the Chancellor to explain why they deserved a better break than us.
“We welcome the freeze, but it was a shame there was not a reduction, which would have really helped the brewers. It would be nice to see everyone get a break rather than just one – but it was better than seeing prices going up and hopefully the freeze will help increase sales and we will continue to keep growing the brand.”