The Chancellor was mobbed last night as he headed to the pub hours after giving booze duty the biggest shake-up in 140 years by cutting the price of ale and prosecco in a £150billion Budget spending spree. 

Rishi Sunak was pictured surrounded by crowds of drinkers outside the Two Chairmen in Westminster late on Wednesday evening after delivering his speech in the House of Commons in the afternoon.   

The Chancellor used the Budget to establish a new Draught Relief program that will see beer and cider duty cut by five percent. 

He stated that this was the largest reduction in beer tax in 50 years, and the ‘biggest reduction to cider duty since 1923. 

The Chancellor stated that his overhaul of duty would result in the’most radical simplifications of alcohol duties for more than 140 years’, which would make the system simpler, fairer, and healthier.   

Elsewhere in his keynote speech, the Chancellor poured cash into schools, hospitals and Boris Johnson’s ‘levelling up’ agenda – declaring the Tories were now ‘the real party of public services’.

Other measures which will please voters include the helping of the high street on business rates and the giving of support to 2million of the lowest paid.

Experts predict that the state will expand to its largest scale since the late 1970s. This was before Margaret Thatcher’s decade-long reforms to bring it under check. The tax burden will be at its highest point in 70 years.

The Chancellor was mobbed last night as he headed to the pub hours after giving booze duty the biggest shake-up in 140 years by cutting the price of ale and prosecco in a £150billion Budget spending spree. Rishi Sunak was pictured surrounded by crowds of drinkers outside the Two Chairmen in Westminster late on Wednesday evening after delivering his speech in the House of Commons in the afternoon

The Chancellor was mobbed last night as he headed to the pub hours after giving booze duty the biggest shake-up in 140 years by cutting the price of ale and prosecco in a £150billion Budget spending spree. Rishi Sunak was photographed surrounded by drinkers at the Two Chairmen in Westminster on Wednesday evening, after delivering his speech to the House of Commons.

The Chancellor used his Budget to set out a new Draught Relief policy which will see beer and cider duty reduced by five per cent. He said that amounted to the biggest cut on the tax on beer in 50 years and the 'biggest cut to cider duty since 1923'. Above: Mr Sunak with Boris Johnson in a visit to the Fourpure Brewery in Bermondsey, south-east London, on Wednesday

The Chancellor used his Budget for a new Draught Relief policy that will see cider and beer duty reduced by 5%. He said that it was the biggest tax cut on beer in 50-years and the largest reduction in cider duty since 1923. Above: Boris Johnson with Mr Sunak during a Wednesday visit to Fourpure Brewery in Bermondsey (south-east London),

Elsewhere in his keynote speech, the Chancellor poured cash into schools, hospitals and Boris Johnson's 'levelling up' agenda – declaring the Tories were now 'the real party of public services'

Elsewhere in his keynote speech, the Chancellor poured cash into schools, hospitals and Boris Johnson’s ‘levelling up’ agenda – declaring the Tories were now ‘the real party of public services’

Some Tory grandees last night questioned the decision to embark on even higher spending at a time when the national debt is already heading towards £2.5trillion.

But Mr Sunak claimed that investing in a more creative, high-skilled economic is the only sustainable path to individual success. 

Budget 2021: Key points

  • Rishi Sunak claimed he was creating “a stronger economy to benefit the British people”.
  • He warned of the challenges that Covid would continue to pose. 
  • The Office for Budget Responsibility predicts that inflation will average 4 percent over the next 12 months. It was 3.1% in September.
  • Sunak: ‘The pressures caused by supply chains and energy prices will take months to ease.’ 
  • He explained the’most radical simplifying of alcohol duties over 140 years’, which reduces the number paid rates from 15 up to 6. As some high-percentage beverages fall under the tax, the rate will be higher for stronger drinks. 
  • A new’small producer exemption’ will allow small cidermakers to get help with making alcoholic beverages of less than 8.5% alcohol volume (ABV). 
  • Draught relief is a new lower rate of duty for cider and beer. 
  • For the 12th consecutive year, fuel duty has been cancelled 
  • Vehicle excise duties for heavy goods vehicles are frozen for one year  
  • Extension of the suspension of HGV levies for an additional year 
  • OBR predicts that the economy will return to pre–Covid levels by the end of the year, sooner than expected
  • Forecast 6.5% growth in 2018, up from 4.6%, then 6.6% in 2022. 
  • But lower rates of 2.1 per cent in 2023, 1.3 per cent in 2024 and 1.6 per cent in 2025 
  • Lower than expected, unemployment forecast to peak at 5.2% 
  • After being reduced to 0.5% in 2010, the foreign aid budget will increase to 0.7% of GDP by 2024/2025.
  • Every Whitehall department will get a ‘real terms rise in overall spending’ as part of the Spending Review, amounting to £150 billion
  • The percentage of GDP borrowed is expected to drop from 7.9% this year down to 3.3% next year. Next year it will fall to 2.4%, 1.7%, 1.7% and 1.5%. 
  • A levy will be placed on property developers with profits over £25 million at a rate of 4 per cent to help create a £5 billion fund to remove unsafe cladding 
  • The national minimum wage will increase from £8.91 to £9.50 from April next year. 
  • An extra £6billion will be given to the NHS to pay for new equipment and new facilities to clear the Covid backlog. 
  • Brownfield sites covering the equivalent of 2,000 football pitches could be turned into plots for housing as part of a £1.8billion injection. 
  • A £2.6billion pot of funding will be set up to help children with special educational needs and disabilities. 
  • Levelling up transport outside of London will benefit to the tune of nearly £7billion, paying for a range of projects, including tram improvements. 
  • The Department of Health and Social Care will receive £5billion over the next three years to fund research and development in areas such as genome sequencing and tackling health inequalities. 
  • A cash injection of £3billion will be given to both post-16 education but also to adults later in life. 
  • £850million will be spent over three years to ‘breathe life’ back into cultural hotspots like London’s V&A museum, Tate Liverpool and the Imperial War Museum in Duxford. 
  • Ageing Border Force vessels will be replaced by new cutters as part of a £700million investment to improve the safety of Britain’s borders. 
  • Universal Credit benefits recipients will receive more money if they work by getting a cut of 8 percent in the taper rate 


He also pledged to start lowering taxes by the end of the Parliament, saying it was now that the Tories needed to make the’moral case’ for a smaller state.

Late last night, he went further in an address to Tory MPs – promising that every spare pound would now be diverted to a war chest designed to deliver tax cuts before the election. 

The Chancellor was boosted yesterday as the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast that UK growth will now be 6.5 per cent this year – much higher than its previous forecast. 

It means the economy is now expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year – six months faster than expected. 

The Chancellor said Britain still faced ‘challenging months ahead’ – with inflation a looming threat.

But he said it was time to begin ‘preparing for a post-Covid economy… an economy with higher wages and higher skills, and rising productivity. 

“Of strong public services and vibrant communities. Safer streets. A new age of optimism requires an economy that is fit for the future.

His consumer-friendly package included a fuel duty stop, a reform to alcohol taxes that will reduce the price of many drinks, major business rates cuts for shops, pubs, and reforms of Universal Credit in order to help the least well off.

Yesterday’s official forecasts warned that inflation could rise above 5% next year, which would be the highest level in three decades. 

And the OBR modelled an increase in interest rates from 0.1 per cent to 3.5 per cent by 2023 – a move that would add hundreds of pounds a month to a typical mortgage.

Yesterday’s Budget and Spending Review was a compromise between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor. Improved economic forecasts left the Chancellor with an extra £50billion a year to spend. 

Johnson insisted that the majority of the windfall should go to securing public services after the pandemic, and delivering his levelling-up agenda.

Sunak’s ally stated that the budget was the Chancellor’s Budget but the spending review was by the Prime Minister. 

Yesterday’s speech was personal in nature, but the Chancellor stated that it was time for Tories to make the moral case for lower taxes and smaller states.

He spoke out in reference to rumoured tensions between the PM and he said: “By the end this Parliament, I want taxes going down, not upwards.” 

According to the OBR, Mr Sunak was responsible for the largest tax increase since the Black Wednesday scandal three decades ago.

The Chancellor stated that he did not like tax increases but was forced to do so because of the pandemic. Last night, he stated to Tory MPs that he had “set a clear-cut and unambiguous intention to begin the process for reducing taxes”.

Some party leaders said cuts should have been made immediately. David Davis, ex-minister at the Cabinet, said that higher taxes would undoubtedly’ slow down growth and employment. 

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies plans that were focused on public services and benefits meant that the Chancellor’s plans were more like Gordon Brown’s than George Osborne’s.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves claimed that the Budget measures weren’t enough to help families who are facing a cost of living crisis. She also told Mr Sunak, ‘The Conservatives now the party with high taxes. 

Announcing the booze duty cut, The Chancellor said drinkers would save 3p per pint – the biggest tax cut to beer in 50 years.

The price of English sparkling wine, prosecco, and champagne will also drop, potentially reducing the cost by 53p per bottle.

The cuts won’t take effect until February 2023.

Separately, the Chancellor announced that the planned increase in duty on spirits and wine, cider, and beer, which was due to take place at midnight last night, had been cancelled.

He described pubs in Britain as the “home of British community life for centuries”, and offered them help to bounce back after the pandemic.

He said he was taking advantage of Brexit to deliver the £3billion tax cut to ease the cost of living.

Other measures which will please voters include the helping of the high street on business rates and the giving of support to 2million of the lowest paid

Other measures that will please voters are the reduction of business rates on high streets and the support of 2million of the most economically disadvantaged people

Public sector debt does not rise as high as previously under the latest OBR projections

The latest OBR projections show that public sector debt has not increased as much as before. 

In a stark assessment alongside the Budget, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said its central forecast is for headline CPI to peak at 4.4 per cent in the second quarter of year

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), in a stark assessment with the Budget, stated that its central forecast for headline CPI is for it to peak at 4.4% in the second quarter.

In both scenarios, CPI inflation could go up to 5.4 per cent, with the OBR saying that the Bank of England base rate would need to soar to 3.5 per cent from the low of 0.1 per cent now

Both scenarios could see CPI inflation rise to 5.4%. The OBR says that the Bank of England base rates would need to rise to 3.5% from the low of 0.1% now.

The headline CPI rate of inflation was 3.1 per cent in September, down slightly from the 3.2 per cent recorded in August. However, the Bank of England expects it to top 4 per cent in the coming months

Inflation was at 3.1% in September, a slight decrease from August’s 3.2%. The Bank of England however expects it will rise to 4 percent in the next few months. 

He described alcohol tax rates as too complicated and outdated, and added that: “We are using the EU to announce the most radical reduction of alcohol duties in over 140 years.”

The changes would make the system simpler, more fair, and healthier, according to the Chancellor.

Starmer misses Budget, after she tested positive for Covid… and the Tories finally put on masks inside chamber  

Keir Sternmer was forced to withdraw from the Budget with Covid today, as Boris Johnson led senior ministers to wear masks in the House of Commons.

The Labour leader’s woes were revealed at PMQs. Ed Miliband stood in, and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves responded to Rishi Sunak.  

Mr Johnson was joined by Dominic Raab, Mr Sunak, and Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, in covering his face during the weekly Commons session.

However, other Tory frontbenchers such as Jacob Rees-Mogg, Commons Leader of the Tory Front, and Alister Jack, Scottish Secretary were still unwilling to take action against the spread Covid.

It is thought to be the fifth time that Sir Keir has needed to isolate.  

Under the plans, duty on draught beer and cider will be cut by 5 per cent to encourage people back into pubs – the ‘biggest cut to cider duty since 1923’.

He also reduced the 28 per cent tax on premium sparkling wines, such as prosecco, and fruit ciders.

The changes in duties will mean that taxes will rise on higher-strength drinks like red wine and ‘white wines’. Consumers of rosé, fruit ciders, liqueurs and lower strength beers and wines will pay less though.

Six new duty rates will apply to alcohol starting February 2023. This is a reduction from 15 and follows the common-sense principle that the stronger the drink,, the higher the tax.

Mr Sunak said it was not a temporary measure, but a ‘long-term investment in pubs of £100million a year and a permanent cut in the cost of a pint by 3p’.

A new’small producer exemption’ will be available, which will cover small cider makers, just as it did with small brewers’ aid. In order to bring it in line and align with apple ciders, duty is being reduced on fruit ciders.

Industry figures were supportive of the move, but they questioned the necessity of a delay.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: ‘The Chancellor’s decision to freeze beer duty… is to be warmly welcomed.’

She said it would help secure 9,000 crucial jobs across the country. She added that she was pleased to announce a 5% reduction in cider duty and draught ale duty.

“However, the overall beer duty rate for the UK is still among the highest in Europe.

‘It is vital for brewers, a world-class, home-grown manufacturing success story, that the overall beer duty burden is reduced – not just duty on draught beer in pubs.’

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, said the decision not to raise duty was a ‘huge relief’.

Public sector net borrowing will be lower than had been expected in March, thanks to the improved overall economic picture

The improved economic picture will mean that public sector net borrowing in March will be lower than expected.

The tax burden is going to its highest level since the Second World War, despite Rishi Sunak's promise that he wants to cut it

Despite Rishi Sonak’s promise to reduce it, the tax burden has reached its highest level since World War II. 

But he said the new regime would still be unfair to people who enjoy wine and spirits, adding: ‘We are mystified by a proposal that embeds unfairness between products, meaning that beer will be taxed between 8p – 19p per unit, wine increases to 26p per unit and spirits remain at 29p per unit.’

Andrew Carter, chief executive of Chapel Down English sparkling wine, said that the delay in changing tax rules on fizz was a surprise and that he would prefer it to happen sooner.

John O’Connell is the chief executive of TaxPayers’ Alliance. He stated: “Punters, publicans, and producers will be raising glasses to these reforms. It’s been a long process to lift alcohol duties.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves however stated: “At least the bankers flying short-haul to sip champagne will be cheering on this Budget today.”

HENRY DEDES: A footballer’s wife might indulge in a hell-for-leather sex if her man is caught in flagrante

Henry Deedes, Daily Mail 

As Rishi Sunak sat down to loud roars yesterday, row upon row of giddy eyeballs behind him began to bobble about in their sockets. Excited Tory MPs. 

They rubbed the backs of their hands and licked their lips with unrestrained glee. “More!” They were unisoned. ‘Moooorrre!

The Chancellor smiled apathetically and brushed aside their applause. It was almost like a big cat dandy just went to a nightclub and announced that the drinks were on him.

Rishi’s Budget proved to be another wallet-busting spending spree. The kind of hell-for leather spree a footballer’s spouse might engage in after her husband has been caught in flagrante and another popsy.

More money for schools, more for transport, more for prisons… more, more, more! Heavens. This is the Big Spender Shirley Bassey warned about.

Splashing out: Rishi's Budget turned out to be another wallet-busting spendathon. The sort of hell-for-leather spree a footballer's wife might go on after her fella's been caught in flagrante. Pictured: Rishi Sunak in Parliament yesterday

Splurging out: Rishi’s budget was another money-busting purchase. This is the kind of hell-for leather spree that a footballer’s wives might engage in after their husband’s arrest for flagrante. Pictured yesterday: Rishi sunak in Parliament

Will such profligacy awaken our economy from its post Covid slumber? It’s impossible to know. It is certain that it sent the wind right up to his opponents. Wily Rishi didn’t just steal their clothes, he also ransacked their entire wardrobe before dragging them all down Whitehall.

The opposition front bench sat silently, arms folded, at the end. You could have been staring in a lifeless waiting area at a provincial trainstation.

They’ve been demanding a Treasury splurge for years. And here it was being delivered, not by some bearded, wonky-specced old Trot, but by an ex-Goldman Sachs millionaire who wears £90 flip-flops. It’s just not fair!

He spoke for just more than 70 minutes. We had feared that it would take much longer. He arrived with a speech as thick and dense as a breeze block. When we saw that each page contained approximately two dozen words, we gasped in relief. 

Kick-off was delayed for a few minutes as Dame Eleanor Laing, Deputy Speaker, issued another rebuke to the Government over the amount information that had been leaked to the media. “Resign!” Labour MPs were shouted at.

Madam Speaker was taken by Rishi with one of those looks that a choirboy would wear to show it wouldn’t happen again.

However, the Prime Minister didn’t seem to be able to relax. He shook his head and exhaled in protest, a goofy mop drooping above his face mask. “Ain’t done nuffink, my honour.”

The Conservative front bench was again covered in face covers. Rishi wore a particularly striking number. Sleek. Expensive. Hermes probably. Jacob Rees-Mogg, the icon of devil-may care rebellion, was left without.

More money for schools, more for transport, more for prisons… more, more, more! Heavens. So this is the sort of Big Spender Shirley Bassey warned us about

More money for schools, more for transport, more for prisons… more, more, more! Heavens. This is the Big Spender Shirley Bassey warned about.

Sunak’s opening remarks were met in the face by a barrage from away fans clearly designed to slow him down. He persevered regardless. It’s amazing how much more he speaks than at his impressive debut two-years ago. He’s also gotten a few grey hairs. This is not surprising.

He was soon in his groove and pinging off soundbites. He said that he was creating an economy “fit for a new era of optimism”.

He called the Conservatives the ‘true party for public services’. Loyal cheers erupted after Andrew Griffith (Arundel, South Downs), a former Sky boss who radiates ministerial ambitions.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing. We were briefly coma-bound by a passage on green energy. We were also not enthusiastic when we heard that foreign aid would be restored. 

Labour’s benches had silently fallen into stasis as Rishi took control of the chamber. 

Shadow energy minister Ed Miliband provided the only sign of energy. He was busy trying to feed response lines for shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves.

Loud cheers met alcohol duty changes. It was not the SNP, as it turned out. Ouch, they were moody.

It was a curious note to end. A slight row erupted after the embarrassingly boosterist statement.

Rishi reminded everyone that he was not responsible for solving everyone’s problems. He said, sombrely, that government has its limits. He was determined to lower taxes. He wanted to reward his employees.

Was he trying to inform us that it was more the Budget of the Prime Minister than his? This is certainly something for Westminster’s mischief makers.

Reeves’s response was predictable: “Not enough”. Quelle surprise. It’s possible to drain the vaults, but Labour will still require more spending. 

Despite this, she did far better than her boss. Even on one his good days. Ms Reeves’ problem with her opponent is that he never seems to have a good day.