Diageo, the drinks company which owns brands including Johnnie Walker, Buchanan's and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Baileys, Captain Morgan, and Guinness, has reacted to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement that the price of a pint of beer is to be cut by a penny.
This cut, said Osborne in today’s budget broadcast, will be paid for by big tax rises on wine and spirits in line with the "duty escalator" – the increase in duty on alcohol every year set at two percentage points above inflation.
Diageo said: “This move is disappointing. Cutting duty on beer while increasing it on spirits punishes the UK spirits industry for its success in this harsh economic climate. Scotch is the UK’s biggest food and drink export. This move risks that success.”