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Duty revenues at 10 year low

Despite drinks industry claims that alcohol duty is being used as a cash cow by the Treasury, revenue from duty is at its lowest level for a decade.

Official government figures show that in 2007-08, Revenue & Customs collected just under £7.9 billion from drinks duty – identical to the 1997-98 figure, after inflation is deducted. That compares to the decade’s highest figure of £9.1 billion in 2004-05, according to Angela Eagle, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, who was responding to a question posed by Conservative MP Jeremy Hunt.

Alcohol duty contributed 1.8% of HMRC revenues in 2007-08, which has gradually fallen from 2.2% in 2003-04. The current figure is expected to see modest growth in the next two years, Eagle said.