The cost of a pint will be cut by 3p in new changes to alcohol duty.

Rishi Sunak announced radical changes for alcohol duty in today’s budget speech, in what he calls he biggest changes for 140 years.

The Chancellor told MPs: “First, to radically simplify the system, we are slashing the number of main duty rates from 15 to just six.

“Our new system will be designed around a common-sense principle: the stronger the drink, the higher the rate. This means that some drinks, like stronger red wines, fortified wines, or high-strength ‘white ciders’ will see a small increase in their rates because they are currently undertaxed given their strength.”

Mr Sunak added many lower alcohol drinks are “currently overtaxed”, adding: “Rose, fruit ciders, liqueurs, lower strength beers and wines – today’s changes mean they will pay less.”

Read also: Give us a fair deal in the budget today, urges county MP

The Chancellor announced proposals for a new “small producer relief” to include small cidermakers and other producers making alcoholic drinks of less than 8.5 per cent alcohol by volume (ABV).

However, some local breweries feel these changes are simply a ‘gesture’, but still a good step in the right direction.

Matt Ford, retail and tap room manager at Loose Cannon brewery in Abingdon, felt that these changes would not be enough in the long term. He said: “On the surface it looks great, but it is actually going to suit the bigger boys rather than the smaller boys. That is looking at it without my rose-tinted specks on. It is not enough in the long term.”

Dave Richardson from Oxford Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said: “I think it will be nice for the duties to be cut further in future. It will only save a few pence on the price of beers, it is a gesture, it does nothing to address the huge disparity in prices between supermarkets and pubs.”

He added: “It is a welcome step in the right direction. Anything that encourages people into pubs is good at the moment because it has been a rough 18 months. Things have been looking up recently and the return of students to Oxford has certainly helped city pubs.”

Mr Sunak also said there will be a new 50 per cent business rates discount in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.


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