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Wine industry 'remains under pressure'

Published:  22 April, 2009

The managing director of a wine company that took its anti-duty campaign to the steps of No. 10 Downing Street has described the latest duty rise of 2% as "outrageous", but less than expected.

Catherine Monhan, of Clink! Wines, organised a campaign in partnership with Harpers, Wine & Spirit and Off-Licence News to take the call for a duty freeze to the door of the Prime Minister.

Monahan said the 2% duty rise unveiled by Chancellor Alistair Darling was lower than she feared, but said that thousands of jobs in the wine trade remain at serious risk. She described an intense campaign to lobby government against the move as recording "a small victory".

"Buyers were telling me they expected duty to go up to £10 per case (of six). What we must do in the future is ensure that some of the £4billion in VAT and duty goes to specific organisations that facilitate progress against problem drinking."