As part of the Budget measures the Chancellor announced that the duty rates on beers, ciders, spirits and wine will be frozen at the current rates. These measures will mean that a bottle of whisky will be £1.15 less than if the rates had increased as expected and a pint of beer 12p less. As the Chancellor said in his speech ‘Merry Christmas!’.
However, the Chancellor did announce that he will look at introducing a new duty band for cheap cider known as white ciders with alcohol levels as high as 7.5% from February 2019. A new duty rate on these white ciders would help encourage the production and consumption of lower-strength ciders.
The duty rates on tobacco products were increased by 2% above the rate of inflation (based on RPI) effective from 6pm on 22 November 2017. The Chancellor also announced that the duty for hand-rolling tobacco will increase by an additional 1% (i.e. 3% above RPI) at the same time. This could push the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes to over £10.