Monday, January 3, 2011

Why you shouldn’t panic about the VAT increase

If your instinct is to rush off this afternoon and stock up on wine before the VAT increase comes in tomorrow, hold your horses. The increases really aren’t that big. I got my husband, who is considerably more mathematically minded than I am, to work out the increase on a number of popular price points and these are the figures he came up with:

A £3.99 wine will go up to £4.08 (i.e. an increase of 9p), a £4.99 one to £5.10 (+ 11p), £5.99 to £6.12 (+ 13p), £6.99 to £7.14 (+ 15p) and £7.99 to £8.16 (+ 17p).

Of course it’s perfectly possible that retailers will take the opportunity to hike prices further to reflect other costs but equally likely that they - or the supermarkets at least - will continue to put a large selection of wines on special offer. As we’ve seen in the run-up to Christmas wine is a major battleground in the supermarket price war.

There is of course another way to keep the cost of your wine-drinking down which I've suggested in my Guardian column this week. Which is to drink the wine you normally drink, just rather less of it. I'm not taking a moral line on this just pointing out the financial (and health) benefits!

I've also spotted that quite a number of wine retailers aren't increasing their prices til the end of the month including Majestic and Great Western Wine. Yet another reason for keeping calm ;-)

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