Champagne houses across the region have come together to condemn the UK Chancellor’s cut in sparkling wine duty as ‘thoroughly irresponsible’, ‘a disaster’ and ‘the last thing we wanted.’
Well we like it
The Chancellor’s decision to get rid of the Sparkling Wine Super Tax rate of 28% and instead tax fizz at the same level as still wine has been welcomed with a celebratory popping of corks by producers of cava, prosecco and English sparkling wine.
‘This will allow consumers to drink our product even more uncritically than before,’ said Angelo Fiatuno of the Prosecco Producers Federation. ‘Thank God.’
Mainley Posh-Boyes of the Society for the Production of English Wine (SPEW) said an increase in sales of home-grown sparklers would be ‘celebrated by dentists all over the country.’
But Champagne shippers have told Fake Booze that they feel the sparkling duty cut sends totally the wrong message.
‘We’ve spent decades, centuries even, being unnecessarily expensive,’ said Polly Roger of Mullet et Condom. ‘So for Rishi Sunak to say we are “no longer the preserve of a wealthy elite” shows a complete misunderstanding of what we’re all about and undoes all the hard work we’ve put in down the years.’
Hedgie or edgy?
Elle Vié-Maitch, head of the Organisation of Underwhelming Champagne Houses, (OUCH) said she would be encouraging her members to raise their prices instantly by 10% or more to ‘get them back to where they should be.
‘Which is unaffordable to anyone who isn’t a hedge fund manager.
‘Such as the chancellor himself, of course.’
We’ve been here before…
Polly Roger said they would be using the model of the Financial Crisis 12 years ago as a template.
‘You might remember that we felt that a period of economic meltdown and soaring unemployment was the perfect time to bring in double digit price rises,’ she said.
‘Well, we need more of the same market-defying confidence now.’
Champagne, she said, was ‘not the drink of the common man and never will be.
‘Except at Christmas, obviously, when frankly anything goes.’
Drab Forecast of the Wine and Spirit Trade Executive (WASTE) said that the reduction of duty from ‘insane and illogical’ to ‘merely insane’ was ‘a hugely significant step sideways’ and ‘underwhelmingly positive.’
‘We’re still a frog in a pot that’s being boiled alive,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘But we’re boiling a bit more slowly than before.’
Such progress, he said, was ‘worthy of celebration with a nice glass of champagne.
‘Though personally for that money I think I’d rather have a bottle of prosecco.’