A pack of cigarettes now costs more than £13 after the Chancellor decided to increase tobacco tax.

The most expensive 20-pack jumped by 88p to £13.60 while the cheapest pack rose by 63p to £9.73. 

People have taken to Twitter in frustration, with one calling it ‘ridiculous’.

The most expensive 20-pack jumped by 88p to £13.60 while the cheapest pack rose by 63p to £9.73

Others noted that the price of cigarettes was increasing while taxes on certain alcoholic drinks like prosecco or cider were being lowered. 

Another wrote, “So the price of cigarettes is increasing again. Let’s not pretend it’s about health. The fact is that even after considering how much the NHS spends on smoking-related illness and disease, the UK government makes almost 15 billion pounds every year’.

Amanda Wardlaw tweeted, “Have no idea at all what the price of my fags is and I don’t look forward to finding it out.” 

A 20 pack of cigarettes now costs more than £13 after the Chancellor decided to increase tobacco tax

A 20 pack of cigarettes now costs more than £13 after the Chancellor decided to increase tobacco tax

Hand-rolling tobacco will increase by RPI plus 6 per cent meaning a 30g bag will now cost over £9.02

Hand-rolling tobacco will increase by RPI plus 6 per cent meaning a 30g bag will now cost over £9.02

People have taken to Twitter to voice their frustration, with one user branding the higher cost 'as ridiculous'

People took to Twitter in frustration, with one user branding higher costs ‘as absurd’

The Retail Price Index, which measures inflation plus 2 percentage points, will raise the duty rates for all tobacco products, Chancellor Rishi Unak announced.  

The RPI plus 6 percent meaning will see hand-rolling tobacco increase a 30g bag will now cost over £9.02.

RPI plus 3 percent will increase the minimum excise tax. The changes were made at 6 p.m. last night.

Ministers hope the move will reduce smoking.

Pints will continue to get more expensive: Pub bosses warn that the Chancellor’s 5% beer duty cut will only ‘take off’ 30p increase in price as industry is squeezed due to supply chain crisis

  • Shepherd Neame CEO Jonathan Neame stated that his firm would accept a 3p-a–pint duty reduction on wholesale sales
  • But he stated that pubs are facing pint inflation of 25-30p and that it will only ‘take the cake off’.
  • Rishi Sunak also announced that a planned increase in the duty on spirits and wine, cider, and beer would be cancelled 

By Rory Tingle, Home Affairs Correspondent, and Jack Maidment (Deputy Political Editor, MailOnline). 

Pints will remain more expensive even after the Chancellor cut its five per cent beer duty. A pub boss warned that this would only ‘take out’ a 30-p-per-pint price hike due to rising inflation. 

Shepherd Neame’s chief executive Jonathan Neame said that the company would pass on the 3p a pint duty cut on kegs it wholesales to landlords, but that drinkers are unlikely see the benefits. 

Pubs are already being hit by rising gas prices, supply chain pressures, and a shortage of bar staff and drivers. More than eight out of ten have raised prices or plan to do so soon. 

Today’s anger was also expressed over the fact that the duty cut will only apply to 40l kegs and not the 30l used by craft breweries. Campaigners are worried that big brewers will take advantage of the savings and not pass them on as pubs.  

MailOnline reached out to five of Britain’s largest pub chains today to find out if they would pass on the beer duty reduction. 

In his Budget, Rishi Sunak also said a planned increase to the duty on lower-strength spirits, wine, cider and beer will be cancelled while the ‘irrational’ 28% duty on fruit ciders premium sparkling wines like prosecco will be cut. 

Taxes on Bailey’s (41p per bottle), Gordon’s Gin (9p per can) and Canti prosecco (87.5p per bottle) will be reduced. The tax on Stella and Carling beers will not change in shops, but it will drop by 3p in pubs. 

But other beverages will see increases, including Cockburn’s port (£1.09 per bottle), Hardy’s merlot (35p per bottle) and Scottish favourite Buckfast (81p per bottle). It remains to see if retailers pass on any savings.

In addition to the beer duty cut, Rishi Sunak also announced a planned increase to the duty on lower-strength spirits, wine, cider and beer will be cancelled. The changes will see the tax take increase on some drinks and decrease on others

In addition to the beer duty cut, Rishi Sunak also announced a planned increase to the duty on lower-strength spirits, wine, cider and beer will be cancelled. The tax will increase on certain drinks while decreasing on others. 

The Chancellor joined Boris Johnson at Fourpure Brewing Co in Bermondsey, London yesterday afternoon for a publicity stunt to promote the cut to beer duty. However, eagle-eyed critics spotted that they were lifting 30-litre kegs. Only 40-litre ones will be subject to the duty cut. 'This misses a huge amount of the craft beer industry,' a brewery founder told the Guardian

Yesterday afternoon, Boris Johnson and the Chancellor were joined by Boris Johnson at Fourpure Brewing Co, Bermondsey in London for a publicity stunt. But, eagle-eyed observers noticed that they were lifting 30-litre Kegs. Only 40-litre kegs are exempted from the duty. Brewer founders told the Guardian that the duty cut will only apply to 40-litre bottles. 

How will your drink’s price change?

Echo Falls Zinfandel Rose Wine: 23p less tax in stores

Stella Artois – 3p less tax for a draught beer in the pub, and no change in shops

– Guinness – 3p less tax per pint in the pub. No change in shops 

Strongbow: 2p per pint less tax in the pub, 0.5p in shops 

Strongbow Dark Fruits: A pint of Strongbow Dark Fruits is 13p less than the average pub pint, and 1p less in the shops.

35p more tax on Hardy’s VR Merlot wine in shops. 

Canti Prosecco: Bottles in shops are 87p cheaper.  

– Harvey’s Sherry – 51p more tax per bottle in shops 

– Taylor’s Port: £1.09 more tax on a bottle in shops. 

Smirnoff Vodka: There is no price change in stores. 

Bailey’s Irish Cream: A 41p lower tax per bottle in shops  

Source: HM Treasury 

Responding to Mr Sunak’s Budget announcements, Mr Neame told Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We will pass on the duty cut at a wholesale, but in all honesty, pubs are facing between 25 to 30p per pint inflation and this will do will take the top off that. 

“It will decrease the rate of rise, but there is approximately 14% inflation impacting most hotels businesses, so although I would love to see beer prices drop, it is very difficult to see that since a lot of inflation in terms of energy, food, and other things is still happening. 

“At the moment, there are tremendous supply chain constraints that most people anticipate to last for six to 9 months and then hopefully inflation will start to ease.

Most pubs will also benefit from £7billion worth of cuts to business rates, including the cancellation of next year’s increase in the rates multiplier and a 50% cut in the total bill. 

Mr Neame supported the move, but said more needed to be done. 

He stated that although it won’t benefit Shepherd Neame as a multisite operator, it will benefit our tenanted licees, which account for two-thirds the pubs in our portfolio. It’s a great benefit to them, and it also stimulates investment – rates would go up if you invested. 

“I think that the opportunity for fundamental reform of rates has been missed. This is a medieval-style tax that doesn’t balance out the overall economy between digital and nondigital. Too much is being borne by hospitality and retail at this time. 

The teetotalChancellor used his Budget for a new Draught Relief Policy that will see cider and beer duty cut by five percent. 

He said that it was the largest beer tax cut in 50 years and the largest cut to cider duty ever since 1923. 

He also announced that the planned increase in duty on spirits, wine and cider will be cancelled and the ‘irrational 28% duty on premium sparkling wines, such as prosecco and fruit juices, will be cut.     

What are the major changes to the alcohol tax system? How will prices change?

– The duty rates for cider and draught beer will be reduced by five percent – a reduction of three pence per pint 

– The duty rate for draught apple cider will be equalised with beer. This will reduce the rate of fruit cider by 20%, and take 13 pence off a pint.

All products will now be taxed according their Alcohol By Volume (ABV), which will reduce duty on cider and lighter wines. A 10.5% Rose bottle will see a 23 pence reduction in tax. However, the levy for white ciders and stronger wines will increase.  

Sparkling wine will now be taxed at the exact same rate as still wines, ending the 28 percent premium currently being applied to the product. 

However, the Chancellor’s plan to simplify the alcohol duty system – which he said was made possible by Brexit – will see some drinks become more expensive, with red wine drinkers among those hit.

Mr Sunak stated that the new tax system will apply to stronger drinks. It will be implemented in February 2023.  

This will also mean that less-strong drinks such as rose wine and liqueurs will be cheaper, which is a good thing since they are currently ‘over taxed.

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, and Mr Sunak attended the Fourpure Brewing Company in Bermondsey. They poured pints and observed the brewing process. 

Hospitality leaders welcomed the changes announced Mr Sunak. 

They said “pubs, brewers, and beer-lovers”.We will be toasting Chancellor’s for bringing forward a “range of business-boosting steps”.   

Emma McClarkin (chief executive of British Beer and Pub Association) stated that pubs, brewers and beer lovers will be celebrating the Chancellor today for a number of business-boosting measures.

‘Pub goers will also be toasting the Chancellor for announcing a five per cent lower duty rate on draught beer worth £62million.

“This is great news for our local pubs, and recognizes the critical role they play in our economy.

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

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

Mr Sunak said that under his new system - which be rolled out in February 2023 - the stronger the drink, the higher the rate of tax will be

 Mr Sunak said that under his new system – which be rolled out in February 2023 – the stronger the drink, the higher the rate of tax will be

The Chancellor said the Draught Relief amounts to the biggest cut on the tax on beer in 50 years and the 'biggest cut to cider duty since 1923'

The Draught Relief, according to the Chancellor, amounts to the largest tax cut on beer in 50-years and the ‘biggest reduction to cider duty since 1923’.

Ministers finally pay attention to the plight pubs’

Pub owner Ian Howarth, 45, (pictured) said the Budget would go some way to help his business following a ¿disastrous two years¿

Ian Howarth (45), pub owner, said that the Budget would help his business after a ‘disastrous 2 years’.

Pub landlord Ian Howarth said measures in the Budget would go some way to help his business following a ‘disastrous two years’ in which he lost more than £150,000 – but wants them to be implemented sooner.

Mr Howarth, 45, said ‘wet-led’ pubs like his that rely entirely on the sale of drinks had been left behind during the pandemic – particularly when hospitality premises could only open if serving meals.

He believes that the Government is paying attention to the promises of a reduction in business rates of 50% and a cut in duty on draught beer, cider and wine by 5% each shows that they are ‘finally’ paying attention.

Mr Howarth, who owns the Queen’s Head in Buxton (Delaware), said that ‘for once it looks like wet – led businesses are finally being listened. We’re out of pocket by over £150,000 – but in terms of loss of earnings we’re probably down by £750,000.

“Because 70% of our draught beer is cider, the recent announcement will fill in the gaps left by Covid.

Mr. Howarth, whose family owns the Queen’s Head from 1967, stated that pubs are ‘desperate’ to receive the help they need immediately rather than in 2023.

He said, “We’re already on our knees.” We don’t want to wait until 2023 for these changes. We want them to be implemented as soon as possible, starting tonight at midnight.

“A lot of businesses are likely to go under before it is implemented, so we need to see these changes sooner than later.” 

The Chancellor told MPs that the existing alcohol duty system in the UK is ‘outdated, complex and full of historical anomalies’. 

He said his overhaul will deliver the ‘most radical simplification of alcohol duties for over 140 years’, resulting in a ‘simpler, fairer and healthier’ system. 

Sunak claimed that Brexit made the shakeup possible, and told the Commons that the Government was ‘taking advantage” of the EU’s exit by rolling out a number of changes.

These changes will reduce the number of alcohol duties from the current 15 down to six.

Sunak stated that the new system will be guided based on a common sense principle: “The stronger the drink, and the higher the rate.” 

He stated that this means that certain drinks, such as stronger red wines, fortified wine or high-strength white ciders, will see a slight increase in their rates, because they are currently undertaxed due to their strength.

“That is the right thing to say and it will end the era of high-strength drinks that can cause harm to public health and encourage problem drinking.

The Chancellor stated that the “converse is also true” for alcoholic drinks that are less strong. 

He stated, “Many lower alcohol beverages are currently overtaxed and have been since many decades.”

‘Rose. Fruit ciders. Liqueurs. Lower strength wines and beers. They will now pay less for these wines and beers. 

Mr Sunak stated that UK drinking habits have changed. People are now more inclined to consume sparkling wines because they are cheaper. 

He said to MPs, “Over the past decade, consumption of sparkling wine like Prosecco a doubled. English sparkling wine has increased tenfold. They are not the exclusive preserve of the wealthy elite.

“And they’re no stronger than still wine, so I am going stop the irrational 28% duty premium they currently pay.

“Sparkling wines from any region will now be subject to the same duty as still wines with equivalent strength.”

Tory MPs pressured Mr Sunak into assisting struggling pubs. 

Many Conservative MPs had called for a reduction of beer duty. Mr Sunak responded by announcing his new ‘Draught Relief’ policy. 

Hospitality bosses welcomed the changes as they said pubs, brewers and beer drinkers 'will be toasting the Chancellor' for bringing forward a 'range of business-boosting measures'

Hospitality bosses praised the changes, saying that beer drinkers, brewers, pubs and other establishments would be toasting the chancellor for introducing a ‘range business-boosting measures.


Bottles of Rose wine will see tax bills slashed. The tax applied to a bottle of Echo Falls Zinfandel will be 23p lower

Tax bills for bottles of Rose wine will be reduced by 23p The tax on a bottle Echo Falls Zinfandel Zinfandel will be 23p less

Wine seller: “The only upside?” There was no increase!

Pour show: Rob Weatherhead, 40, is ¿cautiously optimistic¿ about the reduced duty

Pour show: Rob Weatherhead, 40 years old, is ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the reduction in duty

Wine seller Rob Weatherhead said many of his customers will pay more because they buy stronger red and white – which will not benefit from the cut in duty on bubbly and lower-strength drinks such as rose.

Although he is optimistic about the reduced duty, it is also a concern that the change won’t be implemented until 2023.

Mr Weatherhead, 40, bought Affordable Wine, which is based in Rochdale this year. He said that the cut in duty on champagne was not a significant saving for consumers or businesses. It’s a welcome improvement, as long as the suppliers pass on the savings to businesses.

He stated that while the price of sparkling wine would drop by 80p, some wholesalers may not be able to pass the savings on as they try to recover losses from the pandemic. He added that ‘We’ll be watching to see what wholesalers’ prices are and if there is any benefit. Weatherhead stated that if the changes were made sooner, it could have a positive impact on customers’ stockpiles for Christmas.

He stated that there was no upside to the situation. The average wine drinker will not consume sparkling wine for more than a week or a month.

Weatherhead is also concerned that families will spend less time at restaurants or buy less wine as the cost of living increases.


He stated to the Commons that a fairer and healthier system supports pubs, so I can announce today Draught Relief.

Draught Relief will apply an updated, lower rate for cider and draught beers.

“It will apply for drinks served from draught vessels over 40 litres. It will be especially beneficial to community pubs, which do 75 percent of their business on draught.

“And let me tell you the House the new rate: Draught Relief will reduce duty by five percent.

“This is the biggest reduction in cider duty since 1923, it is also the largest reduction in fruit ciders in a generation, and it is also the largest reduction of beer duty for 50+ years.

‘This is not temporary, it is a long term investment in the British pubs of £100million a year and a permanent cut in the cost of a pint of 3p.’ 

He said, “These reforms are urgently needed and will be implemented in February 2023.” 

Miles Beale is the chief executive officer of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. He welcomed the decision to freeze wine and spirit duty. 

He said: ‘The decision to freeze wine and spirit duty comes as a huge relief to British businesses, the hospitality sector – including its supply chain – and consumers, giving everyone a much-needed break to help them recover from the pandemic.

We are grateful to Rishi Sunak, ‘Chancellor’, for listening to us and understanding that tax increases are not the best way for the sector to be revived.

‘By offering continued respite to the UK wine and spirit sector his actions will help save jobs and – in time – replenish revenues to the Treasury through growth in our potential-filled sector.’ 

Jez Lamb, founder of Beers@No.42, Wirral-based craft beer market, questioned if the shakeup would be beneficial to smaller breweries. 

He said: ‘The devil’s always in the detail. It’s amazing to see alcohol duties reduced on draught beers, but this is only for containers greater than 40L.

“This is great for big breweries, but many small craft breweries only have 30L containers.

“This just further supports big players in this market, not supporting smaller, independent breweries that need support most.”