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London spirit drinkers to be hit by soaring prices with average G&T cost hitting £10

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he average price of a gin and tonic in London is expected to hit £10 as pubs face growing costs, soaring inflation and a tax on higher strength alcohol.

Despite London Dry Gin being famous across the world, drinkers in the capital have seen G&T costs increase to more than £9 in recent years.

A survey by UK Hospitality found that prices across the sector were set to go up by an average 11 per cent this year as pubs and producers battle inflation and spiralling energy costs.

In his Spring Statement on Wednesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed freezes in fuel and alcohol duty and booze tax reforms, due to be introduced next year, will see lower strength alcohol, such as some beers, wines and fruit cider, be taxed less.

But higher strength spirits will cost more, despite a 50ml Gin or Whisky measure being around the same number of alcohol units as a 4 per cent pint.

A UK Spirits Alliance spokesman said: “Spirits duty stands at an average of 70 per cent on bottles of Scotch and Gin, and is one of the highest in the world.

“We believe this is far too great a burden for UK spirits producers. We need the Chancellor to support the industry as we reform alcohol duty. This is a once in a generation chance to make the alcohol duty system fairer and more representative of modern drinking trends.

“The Government consultation on reforming alcohol taxation closed in January. The Conservatives have committed to build on the Prime Minister’s Queen Speech commitment and ‘ensure our tax system is supporting Scotch Whisky and gin producers’.

“We now need the Chancellor to act on that.”

Mr Sunak said he would be helping pubs and hospitality businesses through rate relief this year.

“I want to help smaller businesses right now,” he said. “ Our business rates discount will take effect in April for retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses.

They’ll get a 50 per cent discount on their business rates bill, up to £110,000. A typical pub will save £5,000. That’s a tax cut for small businesses worth £1.7billion. Taking effect in just one weeks time.”

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