Alcohol Duty: Jeremy Hunt confirms beer, cider, wine and spirit tax plan for 2024

Group of friends toasting beer glasses at table in bar

Group of friends toasting beer glasses at table in bar

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 22/11/2023

- 13:20

Updated: 22/11/2023

- 13:58

The Chancellor of the Exchequer also revealed a 10 per cent increase on the levy imposed on hand rolling tobacco

Jeremy Hunt has announced an alcohol duty freeze until August 1 next year in a boost to British pubs.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer revealed the Government would continue to help the UK alcohol industry and pub trade by holding the levy for another eight months.

Hunt also confirmed the duty on a pint at the pub remains lower than on beverages sold at shops due to the Brexit Pubs Guarantee.

Addressing the House of Commons, the Chancellor told MPs: "As well as confirming our Brexit Pubs Guarantee, which means duty on a pint is always lower than in the shops, I have decided to freeze all alcohol duty until August 1 next year.

WATCH NOW: Chancellor Jeremy Hunt takes a swipe at Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves

"That means no increase in duty on beer, cider, wine or spirits."

Alcohol duty is paid by manufacturers when making products.

The rate varies dependent on the alcohol content of the drinks.

Spirits and wines are taxed much heavier than ciders and beer as they have stronger alcohol contents.

Jeremy HuntChancellor Jeremy Hunt PA

The duty is often passed onto consumers by manufacturers.

However, the product price rises are at their discretion.

The Chancellor could have opted to increase the duty by Britain's 8.9 per cent RPI rate.

Such a move would have resulted in a price rise of 68p per bottle of wine on average, and £1.50 on spirits.

Jeremy Hunt visits pulls a pint at The Keep pub in Guildford, Surrey

Jeremy Hunt visits pulls a pint at The Keep pub in Guildford, Surrey


The Treasury added: "This takes 3p off the duty cost of an average pint of beer – saving pubs and our alcohol sector thousands in funds that they’ll be able to reinvest into their businesses."

Hunt also announced the 75 per cent business rates discount for hospitality, retail and leisure is being extended for another year.

The scheme will cost around £4.3billion but will benefit the pub sector.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association welcomed the announcement amid a worrying decline in sales.

People outside Ye Olde Waitling pub, London

People outside Ye Olde Waitling pub, London


WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: "The alcohol duty freeze comes as a huge relief to wine and spirit businesses and the hospitality sector who have taken a battering over the last few years.

"Following the introduction of an entirely new alcohol tax regime and huge hike in August, the latest data shows a worrying decline in sales, which concerns businesses of all sizes and which would result in less revenue for the Exchequer. A second duty rise would have been disastrous.

"We are pleased that the frustrations of consumers, who are fed up with never ending price rises, and of businesses struggling with the cost and complexities of the new system have been heeded."

You may like