Budget 2015: Duty on beer and cider cut, fuel duty frozen
Chancellor George Osborne delivered some good cheer for drinkers and motorists during today's Budget.
For the third year in a row, beer duty was cut by a penny per pint, while duty on cider, Scotch whisky and other spirits was cut by 2%. Duty on tobacco and wine was frozen.
Meanwhile, a fuel duty increase that was planned for September – part of the previous government's 'fuel duty escalator' – has been cancelled. This means that by the end of 2015/16 the price of petrol at the pumps would have been frozen for five years, the longest freeze in more than 20 years.
In a further boost to motorists, those who use the Severn Bridge to enter Wales will see the tolls they pay slashed in 2018. Cars will pay £5.40, slashed from £6.50; while small goods vehicles and small buses will see a whopping reduction £13.10 to £5.40 – a huge boost for businesses, while heavy goods vehicles and larger buses will pay £16.30, down from £19.60.
Osborne called it "a boost for the drivers of white vans."
In his Budget speech, he added: "We're also connecting up the South West, with over £7 billion of transport investment, better roads, support for air links, and – I can confirm today – a new rail franchise which will bring new intercity express trains and greatly improved rail services."
Companies working in the field of driverless technology will also see a £100 million investment by the government.
The chancellor also promised funding to install Wi-Fi in public libraries and pledged to bring ultrafast broadband of at least 100 megabits per second to "nearly all homes" in the country.