Someone just emailed me to tell me I have been quoted by The Drinks Business, a very glossy UK trade publication which has been sent to me from time to time. The full page on Live: Budget Watch can be seen here but since these are apparently my words, I can't see a problem with quoting them here.
At precisely 12.20pm, a full forty minutes before George Osborne stood up, this was posted:
A rise in VAT is widely expected in today's budget as is yet another increase in duty. What will this actually mean? James Bercovici, of Big Red Wine, writes: "Given that VAT is a percentage and duty a flat rate, this is actually quite simple to work out. VAT is expected to rise to 20% so it is only duty that is uncertain at the moment. But it is reasonable to assume that any [duty] rise will be a percentage increase on the current £20.25 per dozen (still wines). A 5% increase will mean a 2.593% increase in the price of any bottle; a 7% increase will amount to 2.7792%. In monetary terms, a £10 bottle of wine should increase by around 35 pence."
In fact, because duty didn't rise, the bottle retailing at £9.99 would have increased to £10.20 but not on the BRW website where prices were - and still are - maintained at pre-VAT rise levels. So why did I bother writing that stuff in the first place? Don't ask me; I don't even remember writing it!