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Alcohol duty crippling English wine industry

High levels of taxation are strangling the English wine-growing industry. That's the warning tonight from vineyards in the south east, where more than a quarter of all English wine

They say the duty on alcohol has risen by 50% in five years, and is still going up by more than the rate of inflation.

For an average bottle of wine, tax accounts for 57% of the price.The tax on spirits is even higher, at 79%.While the figure on a pint of beer is 33%.

But alcohol duty is an important source of revenue for the Government, & doctors say cheaper booze could encourage alcohol abuse. Malcolm Shaw reports


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Check your council's tax plans for 2013-2014

The Local Government Chronicle's council tax blog is keeping track of tax proposals.

According to its chief reporter Ruth Keeling: "With several weeks to go until budgets must be finalised, we count 26 councils that have confirmed their intentions to increase tax levels.

"We expect this number to increase in coming weeks".