Budget 2015: Duty on beer and cider cut, fuel duty frozen

18 March 2015

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.

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