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Cigarette prices latest – Budget 2021 sends UK cost of ciggies soaring – how much are they now, plus pensions & tax news

SMOKERS will see the price of cigarettes hit a massive £13.60 as the Chancellor revealed a tobacco tax hike.

The price of a 20-pack will soar by up to 88p under the latest increase, with the extra levy coming into effect from 6pm last night.

It means 88p will be added to the priciest packs of fags, increasing their cost from £12.73 to just over £13.60.

The cheapest 20 packs will go up by 63p from £9.10 to £9.73 under the move.

Rishi Sunak also made major announcements on the minimum wage, Alcohol Duty, the Universal Credit programme, a £435m crime blitz, the unfreezing of public sector pay and a major homebuilding plan.

Follow live reaction and find out what the Budget means for your family in our live blog below…

  • A boost for brewers

    Small brewers are also set to enjoy a Small Brewers Relief to allow smaller companies to diversify their product ranges.

    Finally, a boost to pubs will come in the form of a so-called Draft Relief.

    The government will cut duty rates on draught beer and cider by 5%, which should take 3p off the price of a pint.

    MPs and publicans have long pleaded with Mr Sunak to cut the so-called “keg tax” amid fears that too many boozers are having to shut their doors.

    Duty rates on beer, cider, wine and spirits will also be frozen for another year.

    The move is expected to save consumers £3bn over the next five years and help shore up the struggling pubs industry.

  • Cider and beer

    For the first time, the tax on fruit cider and beer will be brought in line.

    That means a 20% duty cut on draught fruit cider, bringing the price of a pint down by 13p.

    Fruit cider accounted for just one in every 1,000 ciders sold in 2005 but today make up one in four cider sales, the Chancellor said.

    "But they can pay two or three times as much duty as cider that is made with apples or pears. So I'm cutting duty on them too," he added.

    Read more here.

  • Explained: What booze is getting cheaper?

    Fizz fans are in for the biggest price fall, with a whopping 87p set to come off a bottle of Canti Prosecco.

    Mr Sunak said that consumption of sparkling wines like prosecco had doubled and are no stronger than still wines, so should not be taxed differently.

    "I'm going to end the irrational duty premium of 28% that they currently pay," he added.

    "Sparkling wines - wherever they are produced - will now pay the same duty as still wines of equivalent strength."

    The tax cut will knock 64p off a bottle of Freixenet Prosecco (12% ABV) and the same amount off a bottle of Chapel Down English Sparkling wine.

    A bottle of Martini Asti (7.5% ABV) will come down by £1.07.

  • Tax cut a 'priority'

    RISHI Sunak today declared cutting taxes on ordinary Brits will be his "priority" from now on.

    The Chancellor said he's committed to reducing the amount paid by workers as he hailed the UK's recovery from Covid.

    Asked about his plans for future spending today, he said: "My ambition is to lower taxes for people. That's what I would like to do.

    "As Chancellor, we had to take some corrective reaction as a result of the crisis and the response we took to it, but hopefully that is now done.

    "And as we demonstrated yesterday, our priority is to make sure that work pays and we reward people's efforts.

    "I'm delighted we could make a start on that. I made a very clear demonstration of our intent yesterday."

  • Key budget announcements you may have missed

  • A HUGE boost for struggling pubs

    British boozers were handed a major lifeline yesterday as Rishi Sunak slashed business rates.

    The major shake-up - the biggest in 30 years - will see the hospitality, retail and leisure industry given a 50 per cent discount.

    The Chancellor said the new system, which applies up to £110,000, is a "simpler and fairer" way of doing things.

    Mr Sunak said: "This will directly support the home of British community life for centuries: pubs.

    "Even before the pandemic, pubs were struggling: between 2000 and 2019, consumption in the on-trade fell by 40 per cent.

    "And many public health bodies recognise that pubs are often safer drinking environments than being at home.

    "So, as the Members for Dudley South and North West Durham will agree, a fairer, healthier system supports pubs."

  • Breakdown of the booze duty changes

    Here is a breakdown of the alcohol duty changes.

    Mr Sunak said a pint of beer will be cut by 3p and this took affect yesterday.

    Going to the pub's going to get a whole lot cheaper now!

  • A universal win

    The rabbit Rishi Sunak tried to hide finally came out of the hat.

    And The Sun have been arguing for for years.

    A huge cut to the Universal Credit taper rate, and a rise in the work allowance.

    It means 2million Brits on benefits but are in work will see a huge hike to their pay packets.

    A big change, and a big win for our Make Universal Credit Work campaign.

    Cheers for that Rishi!

  • How the alcohol duty changes will affect you

    Lower strength alcohol, such as some beers, rose wine and fruit cider, will be taxed less – and that will make it cheaper for customers in pubs or supermarkets alike.

    It means that a pint of Guinness will cost £4.20 in a pub – with 3p less tax.

    A 440ml can of Strongbow will cost around 61p in a shop, with 0.5p less tax, while the same beer poured as a pint down your local will be £3.50 per pint with 2p less tax.

     Duty rates for all alcoholic drinks will be frozen, so for you that means you’ll get:

    But high strength booze will cost more.

  • Let’s fly away

    Rishi Sukak cut air passenger duty on internal UK flights yesterday.

    However, he added on an extra £91 on long, long flights such as those to Australia.

    Anyone flying more than 5,500 miles will have to pay extra. It’s likely to whack only around five per cent of flights, though.

  • A new business rates revamp

    RISHI Sunak announced an overhaul of business rates in yesterday's Autumn Budget 2021.

    Companies - particularly high street retailers - have repeatedly called for an overhaul of the system, complaining that it's outdated and unfair.

    The Chancellor ignored calls from some businesses and lobbying groups to scrap the tax altogether.

    But he did say the government will reduce the burden of business rates in England by £7bn over the next five years.

    Read more here.

  • Massive UC shake-up so 2 million can keep an extra £1,000 a year

    MILLIONS of Brits on Universal Credit WILL be able to keep more of what they earn, Rishi Sunak confirmed yesterday.

    It will mean two million families will keep, on average, an extra £1,000 a year.

    Rishi said: "To make sure work pays, and help some of the lowest income families in the country keep more of their hard-earned money… …I have decided to cut this Rate, not by 1%, not by 2% - but by 8 per cent.

    "This is a tax cut next year worth over £2bn. Nearly 2 million families will keep, on average, an extra £1,000 a year.

    "Changes like this normally take effect at the start of the new tax year in April. But I want to help people right now.

    "So we’ll introduce this within weeks, and no later than December 1st."

    He claimed a single mum of two renting a home and working full time on the minimum wage would be better off by £1,200.

  • Rishi on a 'mission’ to cut taxes by next General Election

    Rishi Sunak today declared he'll make it his “mission” to cut taxes again before the next General Election, by 2024.

    Announcing his landmark Budget to the Commons this afternoon he pledged to build a "society that rewards ingenuity".

    He said that he wants to see workers keep more cash in their pockets as the economy rebounds from the pandemic.

    Rishi said: "As we look towards the future I want to say this simple thing to the House and the British people.

    "My goal is to reduce taxes by the end of this parliament. I want taxes to be going down, not up.

    "I want this to be society that rewards energy, ingenuity and inventiveness, a society that rewards work.

    "That is what we believe on this side of the House, that is my mission over the remainder of this parliament."

  • Nights out just got cheaper... whattt?!

    The price of a pint will be cut by 3p from Feb 2023.

    And what about yesterday?

    Well, Rishi announced he will cancel the planned increase in duty on Scotch Whisky, wine, cider and beer… which happened on midnight last night.

    That’s worth £3bn. Nice one, Rishi.

  • An economic bounce back

    In a landmark budget today the Chancellor swiped the nation's credit card with a cash-splashing Budget of cheaper booze, Universal Credit boosts and minimum wage hikes.

    He seized upon a roaring economic bounce back to announce "historically" high spending with more money for public services.

    In a major win for Brits he announced measures to fix the delivery crisis, pour money into our World Cup bid and end the pay freeze for teachers and cops.

    Mr Sunak gave a rosy picture of the nation's economy by hailing rising employment, investment and wages.

    He revealed the economy is now expected to recover fully from Covid by the end of the year, earlier than thought last March.

    Seizing on the positive outlook, he vowed to throw an arm around vulnerable families struggling with the cost of living with "historically high levels of public spending".

    But the Chancellor insisted we need to fix the roof while the sun is shining by getting the finances back on to a more even keel.

    He unveiled strict new rules forcing him to cut borrowing and making it harder to splash the cash - "because this isn’t the government's money, this is taxpayer's money."

  • Chancellor failing to tackle the 'huge issues'

    Rachel Reeves has accused Rishi Sunak, of failing to tackle the "huge issue" that is "adapting to climate change".

    She told MPs: "Adapting to climate change presents opportunities, more jobs, lower bills and cleaner air. But only if we act now and if we act at scale. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), failure to act will mean public sector debt to explode later: it is nearly 300% of GDP.

    "The only way to be a prudent and responsible Chancellor is to be a green Chancellor, to invest in a transition to a zero carbon economy and give British businesses a head start in the industry of the future."

    Instead, Ms Reeves insisted home owners are left to face the cost of insulation on their own, and industries like steel and hydrogen are "in a global race but without the support they need".

  • Gov needed to go 'further and faster' on minimum wage

    Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, has welcomed the increase in the minimum wage, however has said the Government needed to go "further and faster" and should have moved to a rise of at least £10 an hour.

    She welcomed the end of the "punitive" public sector pay freeze, but said: "We know how much this Chancellor likes his smoke and mirrors so we'll be checking the books to make sure the money is there for a real terms pay rise."

    Ms Reeves welcomed the reduction of the Universal Credit taper rate from 63p to 55p but warned working people receiving the benefit "still face a higher marginal tax rate than the Prime Minister".

    She added: "Those unable to work through no fault of their own still face losing £1,000 a year."

  • What you need to know about the alcohol duty changes

    Rishi Sunak has announced a major shake-up on alcohol duty in his latest Budget announcement.

    In his speech yesterday afternoon, Mr Sunak said a pint of beer will be cut by 3p from last night.

    It's because under the reforms, drinks will be taxed in proportion to their alcohol content, with beer having a lower alcohol content than a number of other popular boozy beverages.

    Draught Relief is also to be introduced.

    There will be a cut to the 28% premium on sparkling wines and the duty paid on fruit ciders.

    Read the article in full here.

  • The budget at glance

    In case you missed it, here are the most important facts pulled from the budget yesterday.