Budget 2014: Penny off a pint but smokers will pay more

Cheers to the Chancellor! He has cut the cost of beer by 1p a pint from the evening of Sunday 23 March.

George Osborne said the move would support jobs in the pubs industry and pointed out the price of a pint will be 8p cheaper than under the previous Labour government's duty plans.

The price of ordinary cider has also been frozen this year, partly due to the producers being adversely affected by the severe weather.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: "This is fantastic news, and George Osborne is again the toast of Britain's brewers, pubs and pubgoers. It will protect over 7,000 jobs over two years, mostly jobs of younger people in Britain's pubs."

Pledging to support the domestic market for "the thriving Scotch whisky industry and jobs in Scotland", the chancellor also announced that taxes on all spirits will be frozen for 2014-15.

"This means that a bottle of Scotch whisky will be 42p lower than under the previous government's duty plans," the Treasury stated in the official Budget 2014 document.

There was also good news for wine drinkers, as the duty escalator that increases the price by more than inflation every year will end.

However, with no let up in the dangers of smoking or the costs involved with treating the harm it causes, tobacco duty will continue to rise by inflation plus 2% and will do so every year.

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