A LEADING drinks company is calling for alcohol to be taxed by strength. Diageo Great Britain is proposing a reform of the excise duty, so that a unit of alcohol is taxed at the same rate, whether it is in beer, wine, cider, spirits or alcopops.

“Alcohol is alcohol and we believe that people should know that they are paying the same tax per unit whether it’s a pint of Guinness, a glass of Blossom Hill or a Johnnie Walker,” said managing director Simon Litherland.

Equalising the tax on all alcohol would generate an estimated £524 million to £1.9 billion a year for the Treasury.

The proposal is in Diageo’s submission to a government review of alcohol taxation and pricing. The company is against proposals to tax so-called “problem drinks” more heavily than others.