Business

Budget 2012: Tobacco and alcohol duties rise

  • 21 March 2012
  • From the section Business

Smokers can expect to pay substantially more for a pack of cigarettes and the duty on alcohol will rise 2% above the rate of inflation.

The duty on all tobacco products will rise by 5% above inflation from 18:00 GMT. That adds 37 pence to the price of a packet of cigarettes.

Alcohol duties have been rising at above the rate of inflation since 2008, when automatic increases came in.

The price of a pint will rise by more than 5p.

Chancellor George Osborne said: "Smoking remains the biggest cause of preventable illness and premature death in the UK.

"There is clear evidence that increasing the cost of tobacco encourages smokers to quit and discourages young people from taking it up," he said.

Brewers and pub chains have criticised the increase in alcohol duties.

Tim Martin, the chairman of JD Wetherspoon, said: "We are disappointed that excise duties on alcohol will increase by 2% beyond the rate of inflation, since the British people are now paying 40% of all the alcohol duties in Europe."

Mark Hunter, chief executive of Molson Coors and chairman of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: "We are disappointed that the government has chosen not to end this crippling policy."