Finance

Pints and spirits to stay same price in boost for pubs, as Spring Budget 2024 confirms alcohol duty freeze


DRINKERS will be raising a glass to Jeremy Hunt today for announcing a freeze on alcohol taxes.

The Chancellor used his Spring Budget to hold booze duties at their current rate rather than increase them with inflation.

Alcohol duty has been frozen in today's Spring Budget

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Alcohol duty has been frozen in today’s Spring BudgetCredit: Getty
The announcement marks a win for The Sun’s Save Our Sups campaign

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The announcement marks a win for The Sun’s Save Our Sups campaign

The Chancellor said: “Today I have decided to extend the alcohol duty freeze until February 2025.

“This benefits 38,000 pubs all across the UK – and on top of the £13,000 saving a typical pub will get from the 75 per cent business rates discount I announced in the Autumn.

“We value our hospitality industry and we are backing the great British pub.”

Alcohol duty typically goes up in line with inflation each year, but last year it was frozen until 2025.

It means producers should not have to hike the price of beer, wine and spirits to offset raised levies.

The announcement marks a major win for The Sun’s Save Our Sups campaign to help both bosses and punters.

Hospitality chiefs have warned any further hike in the duty on beer, wine and cider would force thousands more pubs to close.

Mark Kent, of the Scotch Whisky Association, hailed the alcohol tax freeze, saying: “Support for Scotch is good for industry, good for the economy and good for consumers who enjoy a dram.”

Fuel duty will also be frozen but it’s bad news for smokers, who face stumping up a record £16 for a packet of cigarettes and a new tax on vapes.

Mr Hunt is using his likely last Budget before the election to woo voters with giveaways using what little headroom he has.

Mounting an attack on Labour and the Lib Dems, he told MPs: “They will destroy jobs with 70 new burdens on employers, reduce opportunities by halving new apprenticeships and risk family finances with new spending that pushes up tax.”

Jeremy Hunt and his team make the traditional appearance in Downing Street ahead of his budget

Warnings from bosses prompted alcohol freeze

AHEAD of today’s freeze, hundreds of beer bosses had pleaded with Jeremy Hunt to give them relief in the Budget.

In a letter to the Chancellor, chiefs at the likes of Asahi, Budweiser and Greene King warned hundreds of pubs could go bust unless crippling rates are brought down at the Spring Budget.

In their February letter, beer bosses said: “No government should turn a blind eye to the erosion of such an integral economic and cultural asset.

“By underpinning a successful and thriving beer and pub sector, we will provide you the short cut to achieving genuine Levelling Up in every corner of the country.

“The Spring Budget could help ensure that the Great British beer and pub sector can help contribute to wider growth and prosperity for the local high street and the wider national economy.”

Meanwhile, leaders in the spirits industry have warned that bars and restaurants could close doors “for good” unless duties on gin and whiskey are also slashed.



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