Budget speech for alcohol and tobacco

23 March, 2011

The Chancellor's speech covering the government's plans for tobacco and alcohol duty in full.

Chancellor George Osborne said in this afternoon's Budget: "We have already announced plans to increase duty on the strongest beers and cut in half the duty paid on low alcohol beers.

"Beyond that I can tell the House I have no further changes to announce to the rates of alcohol duty put in place by the previous government.

"As usual these changes will come in at midnight on Sunday.

"As announced by my predecessor, tobacco duty rates will increase by 2% above inflation.

"However, it is clear that the structure of the tobacco duty regime is being exploited to produce cheaper cigarettes.

"So we will change the regime to narrow the differential between these lower cost brands and the rest, and between cigarettes and hand-rolled tobacco.

"This will reduce smoking and improve our nation’s health.

"These tobacco duty changes will come into effect at 6pm this evening."




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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