For those of us who like to drown our sorrows and/or chug on a few cigarettes, the wallet might be about to take a tighter squeeze.
The chancellor, Philip Hammond, has set out his plans for the UK’s spending (and taxing) for 2017/18. Usually, sifting through all the gabble of interest rates, tax duties and deficits can be quite tiresome, confusing and pointless if it won’t affect you.
So let’s cut to the chase… cigarettes and booze!
Recently we’ve been let off. Beer duties haven’t risen for the last five years, fags have seen a slight rise but now it’s serious!
Cigarettes will go up by 35p for a 20-pack. A 30g rolling pack will shoot up by 42p.
There’s also worse news. There’s now a ‘minimum duty’ being introduced, meaning no pack of cigs will cost less than £8.82. Oh and this kicks in at 6pm, Wednesday, March 8. GET TO THE SHOP NOW!
LEAVE. GO NOW. GO.
As of next Monday, beer will see an extra 2p stuck on top of a pint, 10p to a bottle of wine, and 30p to a bit of the hard stuff – whiskey.
So hoard up over the weekend on that, or you’ll have to dig-deep going forward.
How can Philip Hammond do this?
Using the ‘escalator’ rule, the chancellor can get away by sticking to his previous statement of ‘nothing will change’.
The escalator means that unless it’s stopped, tax on beer rises with retail prices (currently up 2.6 percent per year) and tobacco duty goes up by that PLUS another 2 percent.
So basically you can keep seeing this rise. By the time you’re old a pack of cigs will probably cost a mortgage.