Jump directly to the content

BBOOZERS were handed a huge boost today as alcohol price hikes were scrapped by the Chancellor.

The welcome shake-up was confirmed by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng in his Mini Budget this morning.

2
Beer prices are set to be slashed after alcohol duty was cut todayCredit: Getty

Mr Kwarteng said he had "listened to industry concerns" about future rises to alcohol duty - which would see the cost of a pint rise.

And in response, he said planned hikes to duty rates for beer, for cider, for wine, and for spirits "will all be cancelled".

The Chancellor said he would introduce an "18-month transition" for wine duty, while extending draught relief to help smaller breweries.

And he insisted that "at this difficult time" the Government would "not let alcohol duty rates rise in line with RPI (Retail Price Index)".

Announcing the measures today, Mr Kwarteng said: "Our drive to modernise also extends to alcohol duties. I have listened to industry concerns about the ongoing reforms. 

"I will therefore introduce an 18-month transitional measure for wine duty.

"I will also extend draught relief to cover smaller kegs of 20 litres and above, to help smaller breweries.

"And, at this difficult time, we are not going to let alcohol duty rates rise in line with RPI.

"So I can announce that the planned increases in the duty rates for beer, for cider, for wine, and for spirits will all be cancelled."

Alcohol duty usually rises in line with the Retail Price Index, which currently sits at 12 per cent - the highest since the 1980s. 

But today's announcement means this rise now won't take place for the coming year.

The Treasury claimed the freeze would save £600million and be equivalent to 7p on a pint of beer, 4p on a pint of cider, 38p on a bottle of wine and £1.35 on a bottle of spirits. 

Responding to the measures, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: “We welcome the steps taken by the Government in the Chancellor’s fiscal statement.

"The measures announced today will mean a boost of £500m for our sector, enabling growth following successive crises and allowing us to thrive in the future.

"Coupled with this week’s intervention on energy bills, these commitments will make a significant difference to our pubs and brewers at an acutely difficult time."

The Scotch Whisky Association also praised the move by the Chancellor, saying the Government had "delivered".

Chief executive Mark Kent said the duty freeze would save consumers £1.35 on the average priced bottle of whisky.

"The duty freeze will not only support our sector, but the hospitality industry and the wider economy," he said.

It comes as Liz Truss today unleashed the biggest tax cuts bonanza since the 1980s to make millions of Brits better off within weeks.

Kwasi Kwarteng slashed national insurance, income tax and stamp duty.

The chancellor altogether abolished the top 45p rate of income tax and scrapped the planned hike in corporation tax.

And Benefit claimants will also face tougher penalties for failing to look for work as ministers aim to plug record job vacancies.

Laying out his "new era for Britain", he said: "The Prime Minister promised that this would be a tax-cutting government.

"Today, we have cut stamp duty. We have allowed businesses to keep more of their own money to invest, to innovate, and to grow.

"We have cut income tax and national insurance for millions of workers.

"And we are securing our place in a fiercely competitive global economy, with lower rates of corporation tax and lower rates of personal tax."

2
Britain’s Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng leaves 11 Downing Street this morningCredit: AP
Topics