The cost of booze is set to rise after the new chancellor announced he was scrapping the planned freeze on alcohol duty.
The blow to drinkers comes as Jeremy Hunt continues to unravel the shambolic “mini-budget” that has left the economy in crisis and the government on the brink.
The cancelling of the alcohol duty freeze is just one of several further U-turns Mr Hunt has announced since he replaced the hapless Kwasi Kwarteng last week.
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The government had announced in the mini-budget that the freeze on duty would be introduced from next February, but that plan has now been ripped up.
It means Brits will pay an average of 7p a pint more for beer, 4p for a pint of cider, 38p for a bottle of wine and £1.35 for a bottle of spirits.
Some analysis has stated that the hikes in booze duty will cost drinkers an extra £600m a year.
In an emergency statement, Mr Hunt said: “We will reverse almost all the tax measures announced in the growth plan three weeks ago that have not started parliamentary legislation.
“So whilst we will continue with the abolition of the health and social care levy and stamp duty changes, we will no longer be proceeding with the cuts to dividend tax rates, the reversal of off-payroll working reforms introduced in 2017 and 2021, the new VAT-free shopping scheme for non-UK visitors or the freeze on alcohol duty rates.”
The latest batch of U-turns comes as the government desperately tries to regain some credibility.
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Prime minister Liz Truss has been in office for only about 40 days, but she has already led the Tories to disastrous opinion poll ratings, seen the value of the pound plummet, relied on the Bank of England to step in to save struggling pension funds and – ultimately – been forced to ditch virtually her entire economic agenda.
Ms Truss’s own MPs are thought to be ganging up ahead of a bid to remove her, while the Daily Star is betting that her premiership has less time left than the shelf life of a lettuce.
Previous U-turns announced since the mini-budget included the axing of a massive cut to corporation tax and the junking of plans of get rid of the 45p tax rate for high earners.
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