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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Jack Hibberd

Harpers and the Wine & Spirit Association will be launching a petition at this year's London International Wine and Spirit Fair (LIWSF) calling for the Treasury to reduce the tax on wine. The petition (to be launched at the Harpers stand - HH10) hopes to garner support from both the wine trade and consumers. Quentin Rappoport, director of the WSA, said: We have made our case to both the Government and MPs to bring duty on wine in line with the European Union average. Now it is time for the consumer to speak. The Government needs to know that the electorate does support a duty reduction. First of all we need the trade to sign up, then we'd like off-licences, pubs and bars to get involved by collecting signatures for the petition,' said Rappoport. The consumer press is also invited to help.' Tim Atkin MW, editorial director of Harpers, said: This is an issue that affects everyone in the UK wine trade and I'd like all our readers to support the petition.' After the 4p duty rise announced in the recent Budget, the tax on a 750ml bottle of light wine currently stands at 1.19. The WSA estimates that as many as one in seven bottles of wine consumed in the UK is now bought in France, where the tax stands at just two pence per bottle.